Registration opens for first CKNN Conference

Registration for the first Chatham-Kent Nonprofit Network Spring conference is now open. This daylong event held at the John D. Bradley Centre on Friday, April 24, 2015 will bring together nonprofits and charities from all parts of Chatham-Kent.

The lineup of inspiring speakers includes representatives from Imagine Canada, Ontario Nonprofit Network, Pillar Nonprofit Network, Ontario Trillium Foundation, Chatham-Kent Police Service Community Mobilization Strategy and Chatham-Kent Police Community Safety and Well-Being Plan.

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Calling all artists for Chatham-Kent Timeraiser”i”

Are you a local artist? Want to be paid for your art while supporting a good cause? Chatham-Kent Timerraiser “i” is looking for local artists to submit their work for consideration by Friday, March 20, 2015.  

United Way of Chatham-Kent has partnered once again with the Timeraiser organization to bring this energizing and meaningful event to our community. The result will benefit Chatham-Kent with a significant investment in emerging artists and new long-term volunteer relationships for local nonprofits. 

Timeraiser is described as “part volunteer fair, part silent art auction and part night on the town”. Throughout the evening participants meet with different nonprofit agencies and charities and match their skills to the agencies’ need. Once they have made their match, participants are then eligible to bid on artwork. Rather than bid money for artwork, participants bid volunteer hours to these organizations. The event is a way for people to find causes and for agencies to connect with skilled volunteers. Timeraisers mission is to “bring people to causes and causes to people.” 

At the first Chatham-Kent Timeraiser “i” $2,580.00 was invested in our local artists. Art can be submitted for the 2015 Timeraiser “i” at

Thank you to current sponsors the United Way Women’s Leadership Council, Ursuline Sisters, Retro Suites, The Chilled Cork, Jazzbah and William Street Café. If you or your organization wishes to sponsor a piece of art or to learn more about this exciting event, please contact Erica Kitchen at 519-354-0430 or


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

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 or speak directly to Dean Muharrem at 519-436-5674 or Margery Muharrem at 519-784-2511.