Concerns are growing about slower pace of this year’s United Way campaign

Contingency plans are being crafted, although optimism remains

Staff and volunteers with the Sarnia and District Association for Community Living held their annual Chili fundraisers at lunch this month at the workshops and their office on Exmouth Street. The Association is one of 19 funded agencies that rely on United Way of Sarnia-Lambton Funding. Specifically, the United Way funds a program that helps individuals and their families cope with transitioning from school to work, and work to retirement.

The United Way of Sarnia-Lambton campaign has reached 68% of the $2,000,000 goal this week and we are becoming more and more concerned that we are falling behind last year.

This time last year, the campaign had reached $1.5 million compared to the $1.366 raised to date this year.

We are beginning some contingency plans and have already announced our return of the Poor Boy lunch.  We will also be announcing a new event never before been held in Sarnia within a week or so.  We are just lining up sponsors and finalizing event details.

We are also seeing a number of the funded agencies helping to raise both funds and awareness this year.  The Sarnia and District Association for Community Living are continuing to run their chili lunches for United Way, and the VON is holding a pizza and pasta fundraiser for the United Way on Monday, November 27th at Boston Pizza and March of Dimes Canada is holding a spaghetti fundraiser on Wednesday, November 29th at their location at Maxwell Park Place.

Cost is $20 for adults and $12 for children to attend the Boston Pizza night for all you can eat pizza and pasta to support the VON event, and the March of Dimes fundraiser on the 29th cost $8 to support.  For information please call the United Way office at (519) 336-5452.

There are still many employee campaigns still going including the larger industrial campaigns.

There are a number of factors that are playing a role in the local campaign this year.

I have heard that other United Way campaigns in the province are also behind where they’d like to be compared to other years.

We are hoping people understand that the money raised locally is used locally for 19 agencies that provide over 35 programs and services.  Need for services in Sarnia-Lambton continue to raise as our local population continues to age at a faster rate than the province and the rest of the country, and considering our mental health needs and out attempts to reduce or eliminate suicides in our county.


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