“L’il Green” Envelope coming soon to rural mailboxes

As one of United Way’s final “asks” in the 2014 campaign, its “L’il Green” envelope will be mailed to all rural households within the next ten days.  United Way volunteers are encouraging all rural residents to open the mailer as it includes a new component to their traditional “Bushels of Hope” program. 

Bushels of Hope volunteers are proud to introduce the “Future Fund” as part of this year’s program. This fund will be used to encourage investment in several current needs within Chatham-Kent and position our local community to take full advantage of future opportunities in agriculture and food. 

“We believe that this new “Future Fund” is an opportunity to invest in “growing” the strength of one of the key assets of our community,” said Bob Kerr, one of the Bushels of Hope committee volunteers. “Our committee’s focus will be on the development of people, methods and markets.  For example, Bushels of Hope Committee volunteers could be approached to support the education of students of agriculture, assist agricultural entrepreneurs to identify markets, develop business plans or innovate sustainable food systems.  Proposals could also include engagement in local farmers markets or culinary arts festivals.” 

This year’s “L’il Green” mailer offers donors choice – the opportunity to donate to United Way’s member charities and programs, to designate to their favourite charities as part of the United Way Donor Choice Program and/or to invest in the new “Future Fund”. 

“Our United Way Board of Directors recently approved its 2014-2015 strategic plan – which speaks to investments in three areas – From poverty to possibility, Strong communities and All that kids can be”, said Karen Kirkwood-Whyte, United Way’s CEO. “Youth out-migration and sustainable agriculture have been identified as two priorities which align to each of these focus areas.” 

Those who wish to contribute to the Bushels of Hope Program can also “donate a bushel” through their local elevator as pledge forms will be distributed to all participating elevators in the next two weeks.  Funds received before year-end are eligible for an income tax deductible receipt for 2014. 

For more information, please contact Karen Kirkwood-Whyte at 519-354-0430.

Celebrating a week filled with fun activities

With seven weeks to go in the 2014 United Way Campaign, volunteers across Chatham-Kent have been busy organizing some awesome “fun”draising events. United Way supports more than 30 local agencies, programs and services that work, 365 days a year, to help make all of Chatham-Kent a stronger, safer and more caring community. 

We are so appreciative of the hundreds of sponsors, organizers, and participants– too many to thank in this space but each and every one a vital part of these successful events. 

Dresden Poor Boy Luncheon – Thanks to the Lambton-Kent Composite School Student Council the luncheon and silent auction raised a $593.00 for the Campaign. 

Yoga With Gisele Harrison – In Tilbury, a special yoga session with Gisele Harrison at the Tilbury Leisure Centre added $135.00 to that area’s growing total. 

Freezin’ for a Reason – Ridgetown’s Rose Beach Line and Wallaceburg’s McDonald Park Boat Launch were the sites for the 2014 event. In Ridgetown, $1,625.00 was raised by four brave participants while three participants in Wallaceburg raised $1,610.00.

 Christmas at the Links – Guests attending the event enjoyed a full agenda of Christmas music, prizes, vendors, fashion and fun while raising $12,000 for the Community Fund. Thank you Thomas and James of Gentry Manor and the Signature Sponsor – Ridge Landfill Community Trust.

 United Way Chili Cook-Off – Back in Wallaceburg, there were pots of chili and lots of warm stomachs last week as the event “cooked up” $2,118.00.

 Special Events account for about eight percent of the dollars being raised annually during the Campaign. We salute everyone for hosting these fun activities. They are a wonderful way to bring us together and serve as a reminder that every dollar, every donation, every volunteer and every action makes a huge difference in the lives of those we serve. 

Thanks also to our many workplace donors and corporate supporters. Raised to date is $1,317,197 of our $1,900,000 goal. A special shout out this week to MSSC Canada and its employees for their very generous contribution of $20,005. 

How can you help? Please consider an “Everyday Hero” gift of just one dollar a day for United Way. Use payroll deduction at your place of work, donate online at www.uwock.ca, return your L’il Red contribution envelope, or call United Way to make your donation arrangements.

 Its a great day to change lives.

For more information contact:
Dean and Margery Muharrem
2014 Chatham-Kent Co-Chairs
Dean (519) 436-5674 or dean.muharrem@sunmedia.ca
Margery (519) 784-2511 or muharrem@sympatico.ca

Community Investment Volunteers Needed!

As a Community Investment Volunteer you will help review Funded Agency performance and need for United Way dollars. If you have further questions about this position please contact us at 519-354-0430.

Title of position

Community Investment Volunteer

Brief description/purpose

To serve as a member of a volunteer review panel which reviews Funded Agency performance and need for United Way dollars

Primary responsibilities or tasks of position

  • Attend volunteer orientation and training session
  • Learn and use allocations policies, priorities, criteria and measurements for assessing agency performance and need for United Way dollars
  • Prepare for and actively participate in agency interviews
  • Participate in evaluating findings and making funding recommendations for a set group of agencies
  • Participate in the process of arriving at consensus for final agency funding recommendations to the United Way Board of Directors

Tasks Specific to Financial Volunteer:

  • Review and reconcile audited statements with agency submissions (as appropriate)
  • Prepare a brief financial analysis and summary of issues for panel volunteers
  • Review findings and questions with panel before agency interview


  • Experience
  • Skills
  • Qualities or attitudes
  • Ability to problem solve effectively with individuals and groups
  • Effective communication skills
  • Experience with voluntary sector agencies
  • Experience in groups and working on a team
  • Sound analytical skills
  • Diplomacy/judgment
  • Ability to work with people of diverse backgrounds
  • An enquiring mind
  • Ability to meet deadlines
  • Strong work ethic – including punctuality, respectful behaviour and positive attitude
  • Caring and compassionate nature
  • Mature judgment and a thorough understanding of the importance of confidentiality of this work
  • Desire to work as a member of a passionate and dynamic staff and volunteer team
  • A sense of humor

Time commitment

A maximum of 40 hours is the approximate commitment, over a period of 6-8 weeks, commencing January and finishing in March


  • Participate in ensuring that donor dollars are well spent
  • Meet with a variety of community organizations
  • Gain a basic understanding of United Way, including its mission and strategic direction
  • Gain specific knowledge of agencies reviewed by panel volunteers, including programs, management and finances of each agency


Second Saturday in January, 9 am. to Noon

Challenges of the position

  • May involve multiple meetings in a short time frame (several evenings in a row)
  • Will require that personal biases/comments are kept to oneself in order to maintain a professional interaction
  • Will require keeping on task and on time

Boundaries or restrictions of the position

  • The ultimate decision making authority for funding of agencies lies with the Board of Directors.  The intent of this committee is to make recommendations for funding to the Board.
  • Recognize the scope of details necessary to make funding decisions for United Way funded programs and services only.


Reports to Director – Community Impact

Works with:

  • Chair – Community Investment Committee
  • Funded Agencies


Meeting at the end of March, after the process is complete

Special resources or policies


Confidentiality Agreement

Waiver – for use of photos and stories

Success measures/Outcomes

  • Consensus is reached in funding recommendations to the Board of Directors
  • Volunteer reports that they have increased their knowledge of the community
  • Volunteer reports that they have learned more about the work of United Way
  • Volunteer reports a sense of satisfaction and that they have participated in meaningful work

Screening measures

Position Interview

Reference checks

Risk assessment

Position Interview

Giving Tuesday

While the Friday after American Thanksgiving is “Black Friday” and Monday is “Cyber Monday”, there is a growing movement across Canada for “GIVING TUESDAY”.

This is a new Canadian movement for giving and volunteering, taking place each year after Cyber Monday.  Billed as the “Opening Day of the Giving Season”, this is a day where charities, companies and individuals join together to share commitments, rally for favourite causes and think about others. 

This year United Way Chatham-Kent is proud to be a partner in this movement. 

“Giving Tuesday is a great opportunity for United Way to encourage donations to this year’s United Way campaign which supports over 30 agencies, programs and services serving one-in-three residents throughout Chatham-Kent”, said Karen Kirkwood-Whyte, CEO.  

More information about this movement can be found at http://givingtuesday.ca/.