United Way campaign has encouraging start, even ahead of official kick-off

As of this morning (Monday, Sept. 10), the United Way, thanks to mostly keen seniors and early fundraising events, has raised close to $370,000; about 20% of the $1.85 million goal.

OLG, CFI in Courtright, WorleyParsons and two of the four NOVA sites have already held fundraising events and I know that at NOVA, the employee canvass has also just begun.  I am told that although it is very early, the recent returns from the NOVA Employee campaign are looking good so far.

Returns from the nearly 6,000 pieces of Direct Mail, mostly to seniors in Sarnia-Lambton are coming in strong.  On Thursday last week alone, more than $18,000 was received; the mail box was jammed at the post office.  I am always amazed with the support we get from retirees, and are hopeful that about 12% of our campaign total will be from retiree givings.  These donors will be happy to know that we have increased in each of the past three years the total amount of funding to programs and services that specifically assist seniors throughout Lambton County.

With an ageing population, I personally believe our funding to these kinds of services will, and need to increase.  It is vital to keep seniors as healthy, safe, and as independent as possible, living in their own homes. 

Specifically, our funding to Meals on Wheels and Transportation services has increased regularly in the past few years.  Healthy and safe seniors affect all of us in Lambton County regardless of our age, which both reduces health care costs from our taxes, but also reduces wait times for doctors and hospital visits to a minimum.  And, let’s face it, we all want our moms and dads to live long and happy lives as enjoyable as possible.

Later this morning (Monday, Sept. 10), Doug Gill, the Imperial Oil Loaned Representative, will begin making his telephone calls to Employee Campaign Chairs across our community to offer his assistance to them in running effective and efficient fundraising campaigns.  The Loaned Representative program that Imperial Oil has participated in since 1981, I believe is essential to the United Way campaign success.  Over the years, these individuals have save the United Way thousands of dollars in costs, while at the same time, reduce the time commitments of the many volunteers involved in our employee campaigns.

The United Way of Sarnia-Lambton will officially kick off its 2012 Campaign on September 18.

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