We can’t do this without you

Emily Robert (UWOCK’s Blenheim Campaign Chair) receives an employee and company pledge from Louis Douramakos (VP of Operations – Mallory Industries, A division of Hopkins Mfg.).

Florin Marksteiner is a Board Member with United Way of Chatham-Kent and the Chair for the Thamesville campaign.  “At this morning’s Cabinet meeting we celebrated the dollars raised so far; we want to sincerely thank all of our generous 2013 donors. n

This is the final opportunity for donors, workplaces and organizations all across Chatham-Kent to support the 2013 fundraising campaign; however, volunteers with the campaign noted that time is ticking 

closer to January 24 – Campaign Touchdown – and we can’t do this without your help! We are respectfully requesting our previous donors to step forward and help us once more.

 There is still time for your donation to make an important differe

nce, and all of us have a major role to play in the survival of United Way funded programs. Unfortunately, our economy is still recovering and some donors now find themselves using one of more of the supported programs.  To ensure that these much-needed services are there to help our neighbours, we also need new donors to invest with us, in supporting the well-being of our community. Together, we all can have

 a tremendous impact in Chatham-Kent. 

 Please, visit a UWOCK office, donate on-line at www.uwock.ca or call the UWOCK office to arrange an individual donation or a workplace employee campaign.

 It is not too late. Our neighbours need our help and the United Way family is working hard to make that happen. We simply can’t do this without your generous donations. Once again, please, help us reach our fundraising goal, because together, we CAN make a difference”.


– 30 –

Touchdown January 24, 2014

2013 Campaign Goal        $2,200,000

Achieved to Date             $1,700,000


For more information on this year’s annual campaign and related special events please visit www.uwock.ca or contact William Grin (519) 352-9555, Cecily Coppola Cecily@rjck.org or Florin Marksteiner office@productionmark.ca


Campaign Briefs December 16- 20

Freezin for a Reason

Freezin for a Reason was held on 2013 DEC 13 at Terrace Beach. The eight participants who took the plunge, running into the icy cold waters of Lake Erie, raised $4605.95 .This is the first time this event has been held in the Ridgetown area. 

Due to safety reasons regarding thick ice and the dangers therein, the second year event for Wallaceburg was postponed until the New Year.  A future date and time will be advised.

Ridgetown Freezin for a Reason. Photo courtesy of the Ridgetown Independent News.


Starlight Film Festival

The first annual Starlight Film Festival took place on 2013 DEC 06. This event invited local high school students to the Chatham Galaxy Cinema for an all night movie marathon. Proceeds from the event totaled $3,620. 

From left to right in the photo attached are: Tim Callaghan, General Manager – Cineplex Entertainment, Galaxy Cinemas Chatham; Cecily Coppola, 2013 United Way Chatham-Kent Campaign Co-Chair; Emily Millson, Co-op student with UWOCK from UCC (The Pines).


GreenField Ethanol

Yesterday GreenField Ethanol presented another cheque to Chatham Co-Chair Lisa McAllister. Katie Amato, Human Resources & Administration Manager for GreenField Specialty Alcohols Inc. will announce their final total before the Campaign Touchdown. Today’s cheque represented employee pledges using payroll deduction, a corporate donation, and special event dollars raised at the workplace. 

The campaign total is currently $1,432,000.

Donors can please contact one of our UWOCK offices, their own workplace campaign coordinator, or donate online now to help us reach our $2,200,000 goal. 

Touchdown is 2014 JAN 24 however, donations for a 2013 tax receipt need to be received on or before 2013 DEC 31.

Bothwell Exceeds Fundraising Goal

With just over one month left in this year’s campaign, the community of Bothwell has already met and exceeded their fundraising goal! Congratulations to Bothwell Co-Chairs Mavis Johnston and Jodi Kish for such a successful campaign. Thank you to all those who supported this campaign through special events, workplace or individual gifts.  Pictured left to right are Jodi Kish, Mavis Johnston, and Jackie Beatty at Bothwell’s  “Biker’s and Babe’s” themed Kick-Off.


I have a confession to make … I’m uncomfortable asking people for money!  Imagine that coming from a 30 year veteran of the not-for-profit, fund-raising, charitable sector!  Besides public speaking, I’m convinced that asking people for a portion of their hard-earned disposable income is probably the second most difficult thing to do.  

But, while that may be true, someone has to do it.  And, speaking from experience, those that do can find some of life’s greatest rewards – the joy of knowing that you’ve made a difference in someone else’s life.

 I write this article in the aftermath of several recent and disturbing announcements of plant closures and layoffs that will directly affect the employees of those firms – as well as dozens of other individuals caught in the resultant ripple effect.  And … in my church on Sunday morning, I heard a personal testimonial from a man of faith whose family life had been affected by the decision of one local company to close its doors.  It was at that point that I felt compelled to begin this article – and to shout out – at least on paper – the importance of giving to support our neighbours and friends. 

Research shows that the number one reason why people don’t give – is because they aren’t asked.  A second reason is because they don’t believe that their gift will make a difference.

 I’m always conflicted to encourage people to share their charitable gifts in these tough economic times because I know that money is tight.  But it is at times like this when we need our donors the most … and when most donors respond. 

The announcement of the Union Gas and its employee gift on 2013 NOV 13 was a welcome addition to our annual fund-raising appeal – and it did take us to the half-way mark in this year’s campaign.   Thank goodness for Union Gas!  But … we still have another $1.1 Million to raise in order to reach our target. 

What that means is that we need the leadership of our local businesses and organizations to create an opportunity – NOW – for their employees to hear the United Way message and to set an example by making a pledge to this year’s appeal.  Many of our traditional donors will be challenged to support us this year … and that is why we need others to step up to the plate. 

 In light of recent news, we are asking those who can, to give until it feels good!  For those who are wondering what a “fair share” gift might be, I typically ask a prospective donor what he or she might give if each of the 25 funded agencies, programs and services came knocking on your door.  The United Way “fair share” giving guide that I was introduced to 30 years ago is still quite relevant today.  It equates to a coffee break each week – or 15 minutes pay.  For those who prefer simple math – I encourage each donor to consider a gift equivalent to $260; that’s $10 for each of the 25 charitable organizations and another $10 for new and emerging community needs.  And – spread out over the year through payroll deduction or preauthorized bank withdrawal – it’s just $5.00 per week.  $5.00 each week – or “$1.00 per day for United Way” – makes such a significant difference in the lives of the 33,000+ individuals our United Way family of agencies serves throughout Chatham-Kent – each and every year! 

There … I’ve done it!  I’ve just asked my readers for money!  Money to ensure that vital social service programs are there for those who need them – when they least expect it.

 To those of you who have already given to this year’s United Way campaign, please accept my heartfelt thanks.  To those who are still considering a contribution, please respond now with your pledge.  Call us at 519-354-0430 … go online to www.uwock.ca … or stop by and pay us a visit!  We’d love to say “thanks” in person!


Karen Kirkwood-Whyte

CEO/Executive Director