A Decade at “The 425”

It’s no joke – today we celebrate 10 years at “The 425” United Way Centre for Community Innovation!2011 AUG 11 AH

Since 1948 the local United Way has had many homes –from the corner of King and Fifth to the WISH Centre – but a decade ago we settled in to our forever home at 425 McNaughton. The building has seen some changes over the years, with our 2011 reno funded by the Ontario Trillium Foundation, and friends and tenants who come and go.

It is worth noting that today also marks the two very special workiversaries – 23 years for Brian Armitage, Director of Labour Programs and Services and the Manager of the Wallaceburg Information & HELP Centre and 20 years for Helen Heath, Director of Community Impact. You are both troopers for putting up with us for so long! (Then again we put up with you!) Thank you for your dedication over the past two decades.

A Celebration of Community

AGM2016PosterThe 2015-2016 Annual General Meeting will be very different from past years. In a twist, the meeting will be less of a meeting and more of “a celebration of community” demonstrating the fulfillment of our mission to improve lives and build community in Chatham-Kent.

All are welcome to attend this event, to be held at The Kent 1874, with a time for fellowship from 5:30 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. where a light buffet will be served. Following there will be a short business meeting. Once the business is out of the way at 6:30 p.m. local artists will share their talents, performing in a variety of musical styles. Interspersed between these performances will be presentations of artwork from the 2015 Timeraiser to the bidders who have completed their volunteer hours.

“We wanted to do something different this year, something more fun that would educate and engage the community. We will be incorporating music and art while recognizing the contributions of volunteers in a lighter celebratory atmosphere,” said Chief Executive Officer, Karen Kirkwood-Whyte.

If you wish to become a member of United Way of Chatham-Kent and have voting rights during the business meeting, please complete the free membership application here.

For more information about this event please contact Karen Kirkwood-Whyte at 519-354-0430 or karen@uwock.ca.

Youth aim to ChangeTheWorld through volunteering

Web_Banner_-_English (1)ChangeTheWorld – Ontario Youth Volunteer Challenge
kicks off during National Volunteer Week April 10 to 16 and runs until May 23, 2016.

ChangeTheWorld is delivered in partnership by the Government of Ontario and the Ontario Volunteer Centre Network (OVCN). It is a province-wide campaign for youth ages 14 to 18 to volunteer through a wide variety of exciting local initiatives. The goal is to inspire youth to volunteer, develop new skills and broaden their awareness of community service organizations.

In the past eight years of ChangeTheWorld, 180,000 students have participated, contributing an astounding 870,000 volunteer hours! In 2016, the ninth year of ChangeTheWorld, 24 Volunteer Centres will be participating across Ontario hoping to surpass the goal of 39,000 youth volunteering for a minimum of three hours over the course of the six-week campaign.

Locally in 2015, United Way of Chatham-Kent and community partners engaged over 1,253 youth and 26,236 hours were volunteered!

“The ChangeTheWorld – Ontario Youth Volunteer Challenge is a wonderful way for Ontario’s youth to get involved and experience the rewards of giving back. I am delighted that through ChangeTheWorld, young people have the opportunity to develop their skills, hone their talents, and discover their passions. By becoming active and engaged in their community, Ontario’s youth continue to make a real difference in our province,” said Michael Chan, Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and International Trade.

Youth Ambassadors for ChangeTheWorld

Are you an Ontario high school student looking for volunteer experience? Do you want to start your own initiative? Are you a community organization that is looking for youth volunteers? Are you a teacher looking to engage your students in exciting volunteer opportunities? Here is your chance! Contact your local United Way. Working together in this year’s ChangeTheWorld campaign; we can help make an impact in our community!

For more information contact Erica Kitchen, Youth Engagement Co-ordinator, at 519-354-0430, erica@uwock.ca or @UWCKYouth.

Position Available – Campaign Associate

Campaign Associate
(Contract Position – 2016 MAY 02 to 2017 FEB 03)

United Way of Chatham-Kent is looking for a passionate, committed individual to join the 2016 Campaign Team.

Successful candidates will be responsible for planning, organizing, implementing and evaluating annual campaigns within specific geographic regions and sectors of Chatham-Kent including South Chatham-Kent (Blenheim, Ridgetown, Thamesville and Bothwell) AND North Chatham-Kent (Wallaceburg and Dresden).

This role may also include responsibilities within specific campaign divisions in Chatham and assisting with United Way-initiated special events such as the Campaign Kick-Off, Harvest Run and Campaign Touchdown.

Duties may also include training of fund-raising volunteers through the United Way Speakers’ Bureau and collaborating with members of the campaign team on specific strategies for donor engagement.

You want to …

  • raise funds to support United Way-funded agencies, programs and services
  • work with volunteers to support them in achieving campaign goals for 2016
  • be a part of a team by attending and providing input at various meetings and strategy sessions
  • work with data to identify trends and help refine campaign strategies
  • plan and implement community fundraising events

You are …

  • passionate about your community
  • dedicated to supporting the nonprofit sector throughout Chatham-Kent
  • skilled in both written and verbal communication and relationship management
  • comfortable speaking in public
  • an outgoing “people person”
  • an innovative thinker

We are looking for someone who has:

  • a High School Diploma (post-secondary education will be seen as a definite asset)
  • significant volunteer history
  • project management experience
  • strong computer and reporting skills
  • research and analytical skills
  • a valid driver’s license and a reliable vehicle
  • a supportive family who understands the need for flexibility in work hours … and
  • a sense of humour!

This contract position will commence on or about 2016 MAY 02.  An hourly wage of $17.00 per hour plus 4% vacation pay will be paid for a 35-hour work week.  Your office will be located at “The 425” – United Way’s Centre for Community Innovation in Chatham.  Travel will be required throughout Chatham-Kent.

We thank all applicants but only those candidates selected for an interview will be contacted.  No telephone calls please.

Please submit a resume, together with a cover letter and two references, by 4:00 p.m. on Friday, 2016 APR 01 to:

Karen Kirkwood-Whyte
Chief Executive Officer
United Way of Chatham-Kent
P.O. Box 606
Chatham, ON   N7M 5K8


On 211 Day, residents are encouraged to make the right call

February 11 is 211 Day across North America. To mark this day, United Way of Chatham-Kent and 211 Ontario helpline are asking residents to make the right call (#MakeTheRightCall) if they want or need help.

Knowing the right number to call will help people find the right services for their situation and will help reduce non-urgent calls to 911.

“211 has rapidly become an essential community service across Ontario. It’s the easiest and fastest way for our community’s most vulnerable, and those who care for them, to connect to social, health and government services,” said Andrew Benson, Executive Director of Ontario 211.

211 is answered live, 24 hours a day, every day of the year including holidays, in more than 150 languages. Residents can call 211 for information on community, social and health services, as well as municipal, provincial and federally funded services like housing, employment and mental health and addiction agencies. Residents can also call 211 for services like food banks or for the non-emergency police number.

“211 is Canada’s one-stop-shop to connect Canadians to services that are often provided by charities and non-profits — partners who rely on 211 to reach the community in the most cost-effective and accessible way,” said Dr. Jacline Nyman, President and CEO, United Way Canada.

“211 is a valuable resource for Ontarians, and for police.  211 calls are answered by highly trained specialists who know our community services and can refer callers to support near them. When residents make the right call, they help ensure 911 call takers can focus on emergency situations and help save lives”, says Ontario Provincial Police Commissioner Vince Hawkes.

Residents should always call 911 for life-threatening emergencies or crimes in progress that require police, fire or paramedic services.

When people don’t know where to turn, 211 is there for them. 



  • My car won’t start and I have to get to work…
  • My neighbour is having a party and there is too much noise…
  • I need the fire department to come and get my basketball out of the tree…
  • I am lonely and want to hear a friendly voice…
  • I need help getting my teenager to listen to me…
  • I have a medical appointment and don’t have transportation to get there… 

Call 211 to find any health, social or government services that serve your community.

About United Way of Chatham-Kent

United Way of Chatham-Kent has been working to improve lives and build community in Chatham-Kent since 1948.  The over 40 agencies, programs and services supported by United Way serve one in three people in Chatham-Kent. For more information, visit www.uwock.ca or find us on Twitter, Facebook and on YouTube. 

About 211

211 is the source Canadians trust when seeking information and services to deal with life’s challenges. 211’s award-winning telephone helpline (211) and website (www.211ontario.ca) provide a gateway to community, social, non-clinical health and related government services. 211 helps to navigate the complex network of human services quickly and easily, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, in over 150 languages.  211 service in Ontario is made possible through the support of local United Ways, municipalities and Ontario’s Ministry of Community and Social Services.

Ontario 211 Services is a non-profit agency that governs 211 service in Ontario. They work in collaboration with seven Regional 211 Service Providers, and a unique network of data contributors to deliver 211 services though the phone and through online channels to all Ontario residents.


For information or interviews contact:
Patricia Weiler
Manager, Volunteer and Information Services
United Way of Chatham-Kent
519-354-0430 or patricia@uwock.ca