Union Gas produces “Changing Lives” – an impact video


On the heels of its successful 2014 campaign, United Way of Chatham-Kent would like to thank the community for its generosity.  By trusting United Way to wisely invest funds raised in local programs and services, a measureable difference is made for people in need of a hand-up.  

To thank their employees for contributions to the recent United Way campaign, Union Gas has created a video titled “Changing Lives,” that showcases the impact their support has on the community.  It features Derek Beselaere, a Board member and participant at New Beginnings, ABI and Stroke Recovery Association, and Benjamin Kerr, a client of Canadian Mental Health Association.  Their lives have been drastically changed because of community services supported by the funds raised during the annual United Way Campaign. 

“Union Gas has captured beautifully and in an impactful way, the difference that United Way makes in our communities,” said Helen Heath, Director, Community Impact for United Way of Chatham-Kent. “They are a valued partner in supporting healthy, vibrant communities and investing in services that create and sustain positive change.” 

During the 2014 Annual Campaign, Union Gas employees, contractors and retirees, along with a company match, invested $1,019,921 in their communities. Of this total, $634,580 was raised and invested in Chatham-Kent. 

United Way Chatham-Kent and the Ontario 211 helpline are asking residents to make the right call

February 11 is 211 Day across North America. To mark 211 Day, United Way Chatham-Kent with the 211 Ontario helpline are asking residents to make the right call if they want or need help. 

Call 211 for information on your community, social and health services if you don’t know where to turn with a problem. Call 911 for threats or harm to a person or property that require police, fire or ambulance services.  Knowing the right number to call will help residents find the right services for their situation and has the potential to reduce inappropriate calls to 911 from residents. 

“211 is an easy to remember phone number like 911. 211 is answered by highly trained specialists who know our community services and can refer callers to services near them,” said Helen Heath, United Way’s Director Community Impact. “211 has information not only on services United Way supports but all our community’s social, health and government services that can help you with any number of life’s challenges.” 

211 is answered live, 24 hours a day, every day of the year, including holidays. Residents are encouraged to call 211 for services like food banks if they are hungry, mental health support if they are stressed or for the non-emergency police number if they need the police but it is not an emergency. 

“211 is your one stop shop to find services that are often provided by any of the three levels of government, charities and non-profits. Everything from finding the phone number for Telehealth Ontario to tax clinics for seniors and low-income people to homework clubs and seniors’ centres,” said Darrin Canniff, Chatham-Kent Municipal Councillor. “They do not provide information on businesses.” 

211 is the Ontario helpline for community and social service information. 211 is answered live 24/7 by highly trained Information and Referral Specialists. The database is updated by trained Information Resource Specialists. 211 is supported by the United Ways in Ontario and the Ministry of Community and Social Services. Interpretation of calls is available in more than 150 languages. 

Call 2-1-1 for:
Non-emergency police number
Food banks
Walk in clinics
Alzheimer support
Mental health help
Meals on Wheels
Emergency shelters for homeless
Services for domestic violence victims
Public health
Telehealth Ontario
Crisis services
Provincial and local helpline phone numbers
Settlement help for newcomers
Housing help centres
Youth drop in programs
Child, youth and family counselling
Emergency utility assistance
Understanding which government service might help or assistance
Disability support programs
Parenting programs

 Call 9-1-1 for:
In an emergency, call 911 immediately.
An emergency is any situation that requires immediate assistance from the police, fire department or paramedics. Examples include:

•          A fire
•          A crime, especially if in progress
•          A car crash, especially if someone is injured
•          A medical emergency, such as someone who is unconscious, gasping for air or not breathing, experiencing an allergic reaction, having chest pain, having uncontrollable bleeding, or any other symptoms that require immediate medical attention


For more information, please contact Helen Heath, Director Community Impact 519-354-0430 or helen@uwock.ca.

2014 Annual Campaign Surpasses Goal!

This afternoon members from across our community gathered in downtown Chatham at the Jazzbah to celebrate exceeding the goal for the campaign, raising $1,914,175. 

Campaign Co-Chairs Dean and Margery Muharrem are delighted by the effort put forth by our community. “We may be the faces of the campaign but it takes a team to make this happen. We are extremely proud and grateful to all the volunteers, donors, and those who worked behind the scenes to help us reach our goal. Literally every penny counts and is needed to continue the good works of United Way and the funded agencies. Each of you truly are Everyday Heroes.” 

All of the communities across Chatham-Kent and their respective representatives did their part in achieving this goal: 


Volunteer Co-Chair(s)

Community Achievement


Adam Ludolph and Eric Stemmler



Deb Moysiuk

$   150,589


Newt Richardson

$   120,437


Nicole Alves and Virginia Smith

$     88,612


Jason Heuvelmans and Tony Rizzuto

$   187,124


Caress Lee Carpenter

$     22,145


Joe Presutto

$       9,610


Tom Slager

$     13,861


Dean and Margery Muharrem

$ 1,914,175

 In addition to the above volunteers, Jodee Anderson, Kelly Bayda, Cecily Coppola, Stephen Doig, William Grin and Marian Redford served as members of the Campaign Cabinet. 

United Way wishes to extend a sincere thanks to all the donors who gave so generously to this year’s campaign … but a special “shout-out” to those who helped to put the campaign “over the top” in the final hours: 

–       Teksavvy and its employees for presenting $20,550

–       a group of community-minded farmers in the Blenheim area who responded to a last minute plea with a collective gift of $7,700 … and

–       the CKXS Radio Hostage “prisoners” – Peter Allaer, Kelly Bayda, Nick Cadotte, Ben Hazzard, Tim Lozon and Carmen McGregor for generating $13,413 in the last week of the 2014 Campaign. 

For more information about the 2014 Campaign visit www.uwock.ca or speak directly to Dean Muharrem at 519-436-5674 or Margery Muharrem at 519-784-2511.



Campaign just shy of target

Thanks to a final push from many community members our 2014 Annual Campaign is just shy of the $1,900,000 goal. 

With the dollars that are in and confirmed and those contributions we know are “in the pipe”, there is a gap of approximately $43,000. Traditional donors who have not yet responded can help us reach our target. Many of these individuals will be called in the next few days leading up to our Touchdown event.  

120 “Everyday Heroes” at $365 are needed to reach this year’s campaign goal. Be an “Everyday Hero”! Please DONATE NOW.

 Join us on Friday, January 23, 2015 at the Jazzbah to find out if we reach our target. The announcement will follow greetings from our Campaign Co-Chairs Dean and Margery Muharrem at 4:30p.m. Pizza and salad courtesy of Original 2 Pizzas will follow the announcement.

United Way to Announce Campaign Achievement


Date:  Friday, January 23, 2015 

Time:  4:30 p.m. 

Location:  Jazzbah, 270 King Street West 


The 2014 fundraising campaign comes to a close on Friday, January 23, 2015 with a celebration announcement. 

Campaign Co-Chairs Dean and Margery Muharrem will speak about their experience, acknowledge the volunteers and thank all community partners who helped with the campaign. The Muharrem’s will then reveal the total campaign achievement towards the goal of $1.9 million announced in September.

Also to take place is the “Share the Wealth” raffle draw. The first ticket drawn receives 25% (to a maximum of $12,500), second ticket drawn 15%, and third ticket drawn 10%. 

A mix and mingle with complimentary pizza and side dishes supplied by Original 2 Pizzas and a cash bar by the Jazzbah will follow. We are asking the public to please RSVP to info@uwock.ca

It is not too late to support the 2014 campaign and have your donation count toward this announcement! Please visit our website – www.uwock.ca – to find out how you can give.