united way everyday hero

It does not look like the United Way of Chatham-Kent will reach their campaign target this year.

“As the deadline for this year’s fund-raising campaign approaches, we need donations now more than ever,” said Dean Muharrem, United Way’s Campaign Co-Chair. “The 30+ local agencies, programs and services supported by United Way of Chatham-Kent rely on donor gifts to help one in three residents of our community 365 days a year.”

In September, United Way announced a campaign target of $1.9 million – a slight increase over the 2013 achievement of $1,850,459.

The total achieved to date is $1.5 million.

But another $400,000 is still needed before the campaign touchdown on Friday, January 23, 2015.

United Way volunteers are urging residents throughout Chatham-Kent to come together and help close the gap before the campaign touchdown.

Here are the results to date:

– Wallaceburg and Walpole Island: $77,110 has been raised of their $113,459 goal

– Dresden: $64,202 has been raised of their $93,920 goal

– Overall in Chatham-Kent $1,500,833 has been raised on their $1,900,000 goal

Although the current campaign shortfall is reflected here in dollars and percentages, the heart of this update centres on the resulting human impact in our community.

Cecily Coppola, 2013 Campaign Co-Chair and Executive Director of Restorative Justice Chatham-Kent explained the reality of a deficit.

“If the campaign falls short for a second consecutive year, it will have a huge impact on all the funded agencies, programs and services,” she said. “As a small agency, Restorative Justice depends on United Way funding to operate at our current capacity. A shortfall will result in an inability to deliver essential services, and an overarching decrease in quality of life for many living in Chatham-Kent.”

“Specifically, if we do not receive the funding we need, our Positive Strides Intervention & Educational Programming for at-risk youth will suffer greatly, with potential for reductions in staffing and/or service delivery to those in our community who need free intervention programming the most.”

While several employee campaigns are expected to run during the first two weeks of January, United Way officials are hoping to receive traditional gifts not yet in and increased participation from workplaces that are given an opportunity to hear the stories of lives changed.

United Way would like to encourage everyone to give “the gift of change” this holiday season.