United Way column for Saturday, December 10, 2022
NOVA Chemicals, employees and retirees gave the United Way the boost it needed to get over the million dollar mark, with the wrap up of their campaign this week.
“We are now sitting at $1,060,000 representing 65% of the $1.65 Million Needs Target,” said campaign chair Vicky Ducharme. Ducharme also reported that NOVA Chemicals will match all the employees and retirees dollar for dollar. “It sure is nice to be up over that million dollar mark,” she said, “we seemed to be stuck in the 50% range for a couple of weeks waiting for the results of more of our larger campaigns,” she added.
Cabot Canada is also very close to wrapping up their employee drive. Cabot will also match their employee givings dollar for dollar. “We are excited about those results, as we know they are already over last year’s totals”, Ducharme said. Cabot kicked off their campaign with Food Trucks earlier this fall.
Ducharme said there are a number of campaigns still underway including Shell, CF Industries, ARLANXEO and many non-manufacturing employee campaigns.
Worley just kicked off their employee campaign this week and hope to match or exceed last year’s fundraising totals. Worley will also match employee givings on a one to one ratio.
Lambton College and Bluewater Health employees’ campaigns are also in the final stages of their fundraising.
Ducharme wanted to thank all the supporters of the annual Dante Club frozen meals event held this past week. “Thanks to the generosity of our sponsors, Libro Credit Union, Ontario Pork, (Lambton Pork), and the Lambton Cattlemen and all the customers, we raised $3,045 towards this year’s campaign,” said said. “We hope to run a similar event closer to April 2023 with new menu options,” she said.
The LCBO final numbers are in, and the employees, and the many customers who donated at the till raised over $27,000 this past October. “We are grateful to the employees as well as the donors at the LCBO. I can assure everybody that those donations do make their way back to our community,” Ducharme said.
In Sarnia-Lambton, the United Way funds 18 agencies that provide 30 programs and services including services that focus specifically on poverty and poverty related conditions.
“We fund the Inn of the Good Shepherd, Salvation Army, the Warming Shelter on Walpole Island First Nations, and even a housing program through the John Howard Society,” Ducharme said. They all support the area’s most vulnerable.
New this year, is the Lambton County School Snack program at a number of schools across the county, and a variety of other youth related programs including the BGC, formerly known as the Boys and Girls Club, Big Brothers Big Sisters and Rebound.
The Big Brothers Big Sisters program receives $130,000 from the United Way to fund three programs. “The United Way funds the Matching program, the Big Bunch Program, and the Go Girls, (for girls) and Game On, (for boys) program. Big Bunch provides a number of activities to keep those children active and receive mentoring while they await for a Big Brother or Big Sister.
If you would like to register your child for any of the United Way funded programs, or if you would like to volunteer as a Big Brother or Big Sister, or any of the other programs offered locally, please contact the Big Brothers Big Sisters at 519 336-0460. Services are offered both in the City of Sarnia, and in the County of Lambton.
To donate to the United Way please call the office at 519 336-5452 and press 0, or log on to the United Way website any time at www.theunitedway.on.ca and click on the “Donate” button.
Gracelynn, 10 years old, participates in the Big Bunch program with Big Brothers Big Sisters which receives funding from the United Way of Sarnia-Lambton. The United Way currently funds Big Brothers Big Sisters $130,000 annually for three different programs; the Matching Program, the Big Bunch for children on the wait list, and Go Girls and Game On for children in the schools.