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United Way column for Saturday, November 5, 2022

United Way has now hit 44% of the $1.65 million needs target, and is closing in on the $725,000 mark.

Vicky Ducharme, the 2022 United Way Campaign Chair said there are still many employee campaigns that are about to kick off in the next couple weeks, including Dow Chemical in Corunna which just commenced their campaign on Thursday. Dow Chemical had an employee barbeque to raise additional money, and raise awareness for the employee pledge drive.

This week also saw the kick off to the Lambton Kent District School Board, and at the same time the St. Clair Catholic District School Board is winding down their employee fundraising.

“We discussed with United Way Chatham Kent that it might be best to stagger the employee campaigns within our education sector this year.  We are currently in the midst of following up with SCCDSB donors who gave in previous years, but not yet this year,” she said.

Lambton College campaign is also in the middle weeks of their employee online campaign.

Shell Canada in Corunna are in the final two weeks of their employee campaign and the company will match employee contributions there.  Shell Canada kicked off their campaign with a pancake breakfast earlier this fall and also held a chilli lunch.

Bluewater Health, banks and other financial institutions in Sarnia-Lambton will begin their campaign in the coming weeks.

Ducharme said most of the funded agencies’ staff run employee campaigns and most hold fundraising events.  LEO  in Reeces Corners held a raffle in September, and the Family Consulting Centre had run a few events including a bake sale at their location at the Western Ontario Research Park on Moldleand Road in Sarnia.

The Family Counselling Centre will receive $157,782 for three programs offered in Sarnia-Lambton this year.  The TelCheck and the Distress telephone lines are a program they have seen a huge increase in need by people who live alone; most are seniors or people with disabilities that are feeling lonely and showing signs of depression.  The Distress Line enable’s individuals who need somebody to talk to.  They can call a local telephone number and talk to trained volunteers while TelCheck is a program whereby trained volunteers call a list of seniors, people with disabilities etc., on a regular basis to check in with them, making sure they have taken medications, and letting them know that they are not alone, that people care about them.

The telephone numbers for the Distress Line is 519-336-3000, or 1-888-347-8737.

The other program funded by the United Way offered by the FCC is the subsidized Counselling and Suicide Prevention.

“Our direct mail is starting to slow down a little, and we are monitoring that situation closely,” Ducharme said.  “We are still seeing people donate on line but the mail has definitely slowed down from the previous few weeks.  We are making a bigger effort to get out and promote the campaign more to both employees at work places, and in the community at large to continue to reach those who work from home, or who are retired,” she added.

“The direct mail portion the campaign, which included the online portion is still very important to the United Way raising about 15 to 20% of our total campaign,” Ducharme said.

Photo Caption:

Jasmine Davis, a PSW worker with the United Way funded Family Counselling Centre looks over the bake good table the office organized to raise money for the United Way campaign.  Several agencies run events and a staff canvass to show support of the United Way campaign.  The FCC receives $157782 from the United Way to operate the TelCheck and Distress telephone lines, the Subsidized Counselling program and Suicide Prevention program in Sarnia-Lambton.