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United Way column for Saturday, September 25
The United Way surpassed the 25% level of its $1.75 million goal this week and now sits at $450,000.
“We have a long, long way to go, but we are off to a very good start. I am really pleased with how the community is coming together to support the 2021 campaign,“ said Campaign Chair, Vicky Ducharme.
As our campaign kicks off, a number of industrial campaigns are underway including the areas largest two, Imperial, and NOVA Chemicals also began.
Imperial is planning a variety of Grab and Go lunches during their fall fund-raising drive.   These events kicked off this week with a Fry Truck at its CMS location, and there will be an additional Fry Truck event at its SPARC facilities on Monday, September 27, 2021 depending on the weather conditions.  There is a Sitara Grab and Go lunch for September 30, 2021.  Employees at Imperial will have the option of five different menu items and are asked to check their email for more information including links to order their meals.
Earlier this week, Imperial announced that they had surpassed 40% of their $418,000 goal.
NOVA Chemicals is the largest employee campaign with a matching corporate donation for all employee and retiree contributions.  NOVA is planing an event with the Sarnia Sting for this fall to raise additional funds for the United Way and create some community awareness for the United Way drive.
“Most of our campaign achievement has been through direct mail so far, and the final 500 letters as part of phase one went out this week; these were addressed mostly to Imperial Annuitants, “Ducharme said. “The previous 4000 letters went to retirees from other manufacturing sites, as well as professionals, small business, and the agricultural sector.
The Lambton Kia Fall Update Event wrapped up and it was a fun event that drove a lot of traffic to the promotion.  Ducharme thanked Lambton Kia, and their customers.  Lambton Kia agreed to donate $100 for every car they sold during their Upgrade event.
Ducharme said more events involving local businesses will be taking place later this fall.
In other United Way news, well over a dozen volunteers have been recruited and have been trained to help facilitate the Community Investment process with the United Way this fall.  This is the activity that helps decide what agencies will receive funding from the Untied way and at what amount, beginning April 1, 2022.
These “Panel Volunteers” are part of the first of three volunteer stages whereby community programs and services are each reviewed for funding to determine what segment of the population is most in need, and how much funding the agencies will need to provide those services.  Currently, United Way funds 20 local agencies that provide over 40 programs and services.
The United Way funding priorities include “From Poverty to Possibility “, “All That Kids Can Be “, and “Healthy People, Strong Communities”, which includes seniors programming and mental health.
The United Way of Sarnia-Lambton has already started to fund a number of programs that help address poverty and poverty related conditions in our community, including the Salvation Army, St. Vincent de Paul, River City Vineyard, Habitat for Humanity and a Warming Shelter at Walpole Island First Nation.
Photo caption

Keira Coady dresses up her fries at Imperial this week at the first of several grab and go lunches as part of their United Way fundraising campaign.   Imperial, employees and annuitants combined with special events have set a goal of $418,000 to support the United Way a Sarnia Lambton campaign.