For those who’ve missed or wish to re-visit any of the published articles by United Way of Chatham-Kent CEO, Karen Kirkwood-Whyte, we’ve added a new ‘page’ to our website where we’re posting all of Karen’s informative insights.

To connect with the new web page, just click the heading “About Us” at the top of any of our website pages and select “Understanding United Way of Chatham-Kent” for a full list of article titles – each article accessed by clicking the “+” symbol…

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United Way of Chatham-Kent Reaches Campaign Midpoint

United Way of Chatham-Kent’s 2016 Annual Fundraising Campaign has reached the halfway point, in terms of both the campaign period and the fundraising target of $1.9 million. The 2016 Campaign touchdown takes place on January 19th, 2017.

“Following Wednesday’s amazing announcement at Union Gas, we are pleased to share with the community that the 2016 Fundraising Campaign has reached $1,013,006,” says Tom Slager, Director of Resource Development. “It is really humbling to see how the community pulls together to support this campaign, proving every year that ‘Together, we are possibility’.”

Fundraising Campaign Co-Chairs, Patricia Wright and Steve Pratt added, “this experience has been incredibly eye-opening for getting to know our community and the folks who have been touched by and count on United Way’s services. We see and have experienced first-hand the impact the donations are making. We are incredibly proud of all who have stepped forward so far to help us to reach our halfway point and want you to know that we will keep working hard until we reach our $1.9M goal.”

Organizations interested in supporting the 2016 Campaign are asked to contact Tom Slager at: Tom@uwock.ca. For more information; updates on upcoming events; or to make an online donation, please visit: www.uwock.ca  – or contact us by phone at: 519-354-0430.

Photo captured at Union Gas, Chatham offices on November 16, 2016. Union Gas employees and retirees showed their generous nature once again by raising $591,125 for United Way of Chatham-Kent in 2016.




On October 29th, 2016, Chatham-Kent’s own Patricia Wright was awarded the Gold Medal in Linz Austria at this year’s World Karate Federation, Para-Athletes kata Division, Senior World Championship. On the international level, this is the top honour in her sport.

In celebration, our local United Way of Chatham-Kent welcomed Patricia home on Monday, November 7thunited-way-of-ck_close-up_-patricia-wright-with-dan-whittal_-certificat-presentation_-united-way with a double-decker ‘victory lap’ throughout our community, riding high and in style in a vintage double-decker bus before returning to UWOCK offices in Chatham for a celebration.

Well-wishers included Patricia’s ‘Sensei’ (teacher) Dan Whittal from Zanshin Dojo who presented Patricia with a Certificate of Recognition on behalf of Mayor Randy Hope and Chatham-Kent Council, congratulating Patricia on her accomplishments on the world stage.

Greenfield supports United Way their way

1297877747073_originalEach year, during the annual United Way campaign, local businesses, employees and individuals are encouraged to provide their financial support for the numerous programs which provide critical health and social services to over one in three Chatham-Kent residents.

There are various ways to support the annual United Way fundraising campaign. Historically, annual revenue for United Way has been generated through corporate gifts, employee workplace campaigns, individual contributions and special events. Donors can also provide planned contributions through gifts in wills, life insurance policies and special memorial donations. (I’ll be elaborating on this subject in a future newspaper article.)

While approximately 35 per cent of annual contributions to United Way come from workplace campaigns – which allow employees to contribute through payroll deduction, several companies have selected additional – and unique – means to show their support.

One such company is Greenfield Specialty Alcohols. For the past five years, this corporate partner – together with its employees – has hosted the Harvest Run for United Way. This event not only supports United Way’s “Healthy People, Strong Communities” focus area, but demonstrates a corporate philosophy that results in enhanced employee morale and increased productivity.

According to Angelo Ligori, plant manager, “Our 75 strong workforce is relatively small by comparison to others in the community. In addition to supporting an easy-to-administer payroll deduction campaign for United Way, we know that choice is important to our employees. Not only does our involvement in the Harvest Run demonstrate our company’s corporate social responsibility, we have evidence that giving our employees choice in how they support local charities also enhances their commitment to civic engagement – a key ingredient in building a stronger, safer and more caring community. A healthy and engaged workforce means a healthy bottom line.”

With this year’s sixth annual Harvest Run, Greenfield will be able to boast a total of over $100,000 for this unique fundraising event. These funds help to ensure that the services are available for our community’s most vulnerable citizens. And we thank them for that!

There’s still time to register for this year’s Harvest Run – scheduled for Sunday, Sept. 25. This year’s event will be held at John McGregor Secondary School commencing with registration at 6:30 a.m. and a start time of 7:30 a.m. for the half-marathon. There is also a 5 km. Run/Walk, a 10 km. Run and Kid’s Dash. For additional details please go to www.ckharvestrun.com.

Steve, Jaymee and Cory Cronin all say, “The unique medals, the long sleeve New Balance shirts and food will make this year’s run one of the best ever. The one-of-a-kind medal will not be matched by any other race out there!”

For more information about how you – or your organization – can support this year’s United Way campaign, please contact Tom Slager, United Way’s Director of Resource Development at 519-354-0430 or email tom@uwock.ca.

If there is a particular question that you would like answered in a future article, please do not hesitate to send me an email at karen@uwock.ca or call me at 519-354-0430.

United Way Campaign Goal set at $1.9 Million

At the 2016 Annual Campaign Kick-Off, Co-Chairs – Steve Pratt and Patricia Wright – announced a goal of $1,900,000.

The United Way Mission is “to improve lives and build community.” Donations to and through the annual United Way campaign are invested in programs that help people cope with the numerous challenges of daily life – those associated with poverty, addiction, mental illness and physical disabilities.  United Way’s Campaign Co-Chairs know – first-hand – the difference United Way dollars are making in the lives of one in three Chatham-Kent residents.

“This year’s goal is a modest increase over last year’s achievement of $1,852,699.  While we know that the requests from United Way’s funded agencies are likely to exceed the amount raised during the campaign, we also know that there are a number of other deserving charitable causes also raising funds in our community.  It is our hope that the citizens of Chatham-Kent will help us surpass this year’s target and ensure that these vital health and social services will be there for people like me and Patricia.  In our current economy, we believe that $1.9 Million is realistic and United Way is worthy of support,” said Steve.

Those on hand to pledge their support at the Kick-Off Event included Union Gas, Chamberlain/Mercury Design & Print, Greenfield Specialty Alcohols, Christian Labour Association, Councillor Brock McGregor, Municipality of Chatham-Kent and many of the agencies who administer United Way partner programs.

“The community support displayed tonight is very encouraging.  We have already achieved 20% of our target.  Steve and I, along with other United Way volunteers and staff, will work tirelessly this fall/winter to achieve – and hopefully surpass – our goal,” added Patricia.

As part of the campaign launch, “L’il Red” annual contribution envelopes have been mailed and will be arriving in mailboxes early next week. If you do not receive your “L’il Red”, please call the United Way office at 519-354-0430. You can also go to www.uwock.ca  to make a confidential, secure on-line donation.

To pledge your support or get involved in the 2016 Campaign please contact Patricia Wright patriciamwright@hotmail.com, 519-365-5124 or Steve Pratt stevep80@gmail.com, 226-494-1533.