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Column for Saturday, October 29
The United Way of Sarnia-Lambton campaign has now hit 40% of its $1.65 million campaign needs target.
“Having raised $660,000 so far, we are hoping to be close to 700,000 next week,” said Vicky Ducharme, 2022 United Way campaign chair.  Over the past few weeks, a number of industrial campaigns have begun and more will kickoff shortly.
Ducharme said that the direct mail portion of the campaign and those people giving online through the United Way website is continuing strong, and we hope that continues as we are approaching the halfway mark of our fall campaign. The United Way is now in its seventh week of the 15 week campaign.
“We have started to profile retirees in our social media posts and indicate why they personally have contributed to the United Way during their working careers and continue to now in retirement,” Ducharme said.
The Imperial employee campaign is in the closing weeks of their drive. Ducharme said Arlanxeo employees are also in the final days of their campaign, and the company will continue to match its retiree donations until the end of November.
As the United Way fundraising campaign is near the halfway mark in terms of time, the community investment process is beginning.  “This is the activity that helps determine which agencies as well as which programs and services will be funded in 2023,” Ducharme said.
“This is never an easy task,” said Ducharme who said there are a number of community volunteers who review the current list of programs and services and will review each funding requests, along with new funding requests for other charities in good standing with Canada Revenue Agency.  Agencies must provide a solution to community issues such as addressing poverty, poverty related services, youth programming, services that enable seniors to live at home independently, and programs for those who maybe suffering from a mental illness.
Ducharme, who is also one of the 15 volunteer Board Members on the United Way of Sarnia-Lambton Board of Directors indicated that final decisions will not be made until late December or mid January when the campaign is complete and the United Way final campaign figures are known.
In other United Way news, the United Way of Sarnia-Lambton announced that Hollie Millholland has joined the staff at the United Way replacing Rebecca Brander who held the Rescue Development Manger position for six years.  Millholland is formerly of Needham’s Marine on London Line in Sarnia.  Sarnia Sting fans will recognize Millholland as the game day host at
Sarnia Sting home games at the Progressive Auto Sales Arena.
Millholland grew up in Sarnia and is a graduate of St. Francois Xavier in Sarnia.   Millholland volunteered exclusively at the United Way to gain her 40 high school volunteer hours, and also participated in the Shell Canada Sons and Daughters program.  It was through these activities that she grew a fondness for the United Way in Sarnia-Lambton and for the many programs and services that depend on United Way for funding.
Currently, the United Way funds 17 local agencies that provide over 30 programs and services throughout Sarnia, and Lambton County.
The annual campaign will run until the end of the year, and donors can contribute to the campaign by logging onto the United Way website at, calling the office at 519 336-5452, or visit at 1362 Lambton Mall Road in Sarnia.
Photo Caption:
Volunteer Mike Shimmin prepares to deliver meals to seniors and people with disabilities in Sarnia through the Canadian Red Cross Meals on Wheels program.  The United Way of Sarnia-Lambton provides $31,000 to the Red Cross to subsidize the costs of healthy, nutritious meals for low income individuals.  To learn more, including volunteer opportunities to deliver Meals on Wheels, please call the Red Cross at 519 332-6380.  LEO receives funding from the United Way for Meals in Rural Lambton.