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Opening doors walking program membersUnited Way column for Saturday, May 7, 2022
The inaugural United for Donuts campaign was busy from beginning to end and was an overwhelming success for the United Way of Sarnia-Lambton.
“We, raised $1600, from the United for Donuts campaign that we partnered with Global Donuts and Deli on London line in Sarnia. We are so grateful to not only Global Donuts and Deli, but their staff, and the hundreds of people who purchased donuts on Wednesday, April 27, to support our campaign,” said United Way campaign chair Vicky Ducharme.
“I know we did run out of donuts a couple of times during the day due to the overwhelming positive response of our community supporting both local businesses, and local charitable organizations, so I would also like to thank everyone for their patience and understanding. We surpassed any previous records,” Ducharme added.
Ducharme said, Global Donuts and Deli have agreed to run the United for Donuts event again next April.
The United Way of Sarnia-Lambton is pleased to announce that the annual Day of Caring is back this year and is scheduled for Tuesday, September 20, 2022.
“We wanted to have a soft announcement for the Day of Caring this fall, to make sure we have both enough jobs, and enough volunteers for the day, to have meaningful work done, but also respecting any safety protocols,” said Day of Caring organizer Pamela Bodkin.
Bodkin mentioned that the United Way of Sarnia-Lambton had run the Day of Caring for 26 consecutive years, assisting low income homeowners, agencies, and agency referrals with light home renovations and maintenance, but was forced to cancel the previous two years because of safety concerns for both volunteers and clients as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
 ”We are pleased to bring it back this year, as we know there are several homeowners who may have put off maintenance work, and are in need of work being done to help enable them to continue living in their own homes as safely as possible.  We are focusing mostly on outdoor work, but will consider indoor work so long as our concerns for the health and welfare of clients and volunteers is assessed, “Bodkin said.
Over the years, Day of Caring volunteers, cleaned eavestroughs and gutters, (installed storm windows and doors), and did a wide range of general cleanup and light maintenance, inside and outside, for individuals in Sarnia and throughout Lambton County, and have assisted in painting offices, and installing shelves with some of the agencies in our community.
If you are a local homeowner, and believe you may fit the eligibility requirements, or if you work with a local not-for-profit organization and know of clients who might be in need, please contact Pamela Bodkin at the United Way at 519-336-5452 extension 7, or email Pam at [email protected].
It is Mental Health week is now upon us, and the United Way at Sarnia-Lambton invests in a number of local programs and services that are focused on the mental health of residents of Lambton County.
Locally, the Family Counselling Centre is the largest funded agency of the United Way, and provides funds for individual and couples counselling, and more recently has significantly increased funding for both the Tel-check and Distress lines which has  seen dramatic increases in need since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.  The United Way of Sarnia-Lambton also funds a suicide prevention program currently hosted by the Family Counselling Centre and run by Suicide Prevention Committee in Sarnia-Lambton.
Opening Doors, run by the North Lambton Community Health Centre is another program that is funded by the United Way and has a program that runs out of Sarnia, and in rural Lambton, and has programming through out the county.
Opening Doors provides a number of activities including cooking classes, community gardening classes, exercise and healthy living, and other programs designed for those who may be suffering from depression, isolation, or some other mental health challenge. For more information contact the Opening Doors coordinator, Rebecca  Everaert at 519-344-3017 in Sarnia, or 519-786-4545 in Lambton County.
Photo caption 
Glennis Murphy, Rebecca Everaert,  Bill Marti, and Marianne Hyatt participate in Opening Doors, a program offered both in rural Lambton, and in urban Sarnia, that promotes healthy living and exercise, and a number of other activities for those who may be feeling isolated, depressed, or some other mental health challenge. The United Way currently funds Opening Doors $60,000 to provide the program throughout Sarnia-Lambton.  Too find out more about the Opening Doors program, please call 519-344-3017 in Sarnia, or 519-786-4545 in Lambton County.
Opening doors walking program members