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United Way Column for November 19, 2022

The United Way of Sarnia-Lambton fundraising campaign has just hit 50% of its $1.65 million needs target.

“We are very grateful to be at the 50% mark.  Psychologically, that is a nice level to be at, especially now as we have just six weeks remaining in our campaign,” said Vicky Ducharme.

Ducharme said that most of the industrial campaigns are either running, or about to begin, with only two having completely wrapped up. “Employees from Styrolution, and employees from Pembina wrapped up their campaigns just this week, and have exceeded last year’s campaign totals,” she said.  “Styrolution saw a 7.5% increase over last year’s total, while Pembina employees, including the corporate match donation far surpassed last year’s totals and reached $86,220.  “We are so grateful to the United Way champions at both companies, as well as the employees who really came through for us this year,” she said.

Ducharme went on to explain that although Imperial employees are also in the final days of their campaign, other major industrial campaigns are in the midst of their fundraising drives, and once they wrap up in a few weeks, she expects to see quite an uptick in the campaign total.

Many of the non-industrial campaigns are also now running, the first of which were the Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada, and the Canada Customs and Border Services Agency which are in the final days of their campaigning.  There are a number of retail establishments, charitable organizations including funded agencies, as well as Lambton College and Bluewater Health. “The Bluewater Health employee campaign just kicked off this week, and we are excited to see their results, as they have seen some growth in the past year or two,” said Ducharme.

Area financial institutions are also just commencing their employee fundraising, and the corporate contributions are starting roll into the United Way. Ducharme said that banks will be kicking off in our region throughout the month of November and will run until early or mid December. “We are seeing increased enthusiasm within the financial sector this year, and we are excited to see their employee results,” she added.  Ducharme said the United Way is hopeful it can give short 5 or 6 minute presentations to bank employees this fall, and have already done a presentation for Libro Credit Union.  “We are pleased to provide presentations to all employee groups to inform donors where and how their contributions are used in Sarnia-Lambton,” she said.

The Date Club Frozen Takeout Meal event is now fully underway and orders are beginning to come in for the lasagna, rigatoni al forno, chicken and beef meat pies, and new this year, cabbage rolls.  Ducharme said the rigatoni and cabbage rolls are available in two sizes, while the lasagne is large only, and the meat pies are small but are considered to be two servings per meat pie.

To order your meals, please visit the United Way website at .

The direct mail returns have slowed in recent weeks and with the corporate match deadline approaching for both NOVA Chemicals, and ARLANXEO, the United Way has mailed a final follow up letters to retirees from those companies.   “We wanted donors to know if they get their traditional contributions known to us by November 30, 2022, it will be eligible for the company match,” Ducharme said.

BCG, formerly known as the Boys and Girls Club is one of 18 funded agencies in Sarnia-Lambton.  The BCG receives over $93,000 to provide both subsidized summer camps for children and an after school and homework help program during the school year.  In total, more than 30 local programs and services depend on the United Way for funding in Sarnia and Lambton County.

PHOTO Caption:

Four year old Mia takes colours at the after school program of the BCG, one of 18 funded agencies by the United Way of Sarnia-Lambton.  BCG, formerly known as the Boy sand Girls Club receives $93,667 to provide the after school and homework help program during the school year, and summer camps during the summer.  The United Way campaign has now reached 50% of its $1.65 Million Needs Target.