United Way kickoff is just a week away

Campaign goal is $2 million, matching what was raised last year

With the official campaign kickoff just one week away, the United Way has already raised several thousand dollars through special events and direct mail in just the last few weeks alone.

The Sarnia Sting Black and White game is more and more successful every year, and we were so pleased to involve our new sponsor to the game, Lambton Ford in an even bigger way this year.  We raised $4,000 during the first ever DRIVE 4UR community with Ford Canada for the United Way.

In addition, we raised almost another $4,000 through donations at the door, and the various raffles and 50-50 draw that we held during the hockey game.

I have always viewed the Sarnia Sting Black and White game as the unofficial kick off to the annual campaign, and looking at my schedule for the week ahead, it’s easy to see why.

We have a dozen or so presentations that we will be making to the employees at Imperial and other work places this week. The objective of the presentations is to let employees know where and how their money is being used in our community.  We have found that employee presentations, just 10 minutes in length, results in increased levels of participation, and a far better understanding from employees of how our community benefits thanks to their contributions.

We also have employee campaign kick offs this week including BBQs at Arlanxeo, Imperial on Thursday, and a golf tournament with Bakker Hughes on Friday.

The other noticeable start to our campaign is the addition of our 2016 Loaned Representatives. I am very pleased to announce that we will have two Loaned Representatives this year; Mark Vander Vies is from the Ministry of Community and Social Services and Bert Thakkar from Imperial.

Loaned Representatives are vital to the success of our campaign. Not only do they provide great assistance to all the individual employee campaigns, but they also contribute greatly to our network of potential donors, and keep our costs low allowing more money from the campaign to be invested directly in the community programs and services.

Mark and Bert will be with us for 13 weeks this fall, with Mark beginning his Loaned Represented assignment one week earlier than Bert to help ensure we get off to a good start.  I am hopeful we are at the 35% level of the campaign by the end of the week.

As of noon today, the United Way has exceeded the one-quarter mark of the campaign, and now sits at about 28% of the $2-million campaign goal.  Our goal represents the same amount of money as we raised last year, and although it is achievable, it will not be easy.  We know that we will need at least as many doors as last year, plus some new donors as more people have retired from industry.

Our strategy this year is simple: if you gave in the past, please give again this year. You know how well your contribution is used in our local community…and, if you’ve never given in the past, please seriously consider a first time contribution.  Contributions to the United Way of Sarnia-Lambton campaign are use locally, invested in 37 different programs and services offered by 20 local community agencies.

The 2016 United Way of Sarnia-Lambton campaign will officially kick off next Tuesday with the annual Day of Caring and will run until the end of the year.

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