Donations needed as United Way campaign nears end

Folks are encouraged to continue to support the Central Alberta United Way campaign as it rounds its final fundraising bend.

This year’s goal is $2 million, and as of Tuesday the organization was about 87% of the way there.

That amounts to $1.72 million so far, said Jennifer Forrest, resource development director for the United Way of Central Alberta. Staff are also hoping residents to consider giving to the campaign over the next couple of days to help top up the amount collected so far.

“I know there have been some huge acts of generosity, but I also know it’s been tough for some to give at the levels they have in the past,” she said.

Forrest said there is tremendous tax benefits to giving – for example, a donation of $1,000 ultimately costs the giver $550 once tax and charitable receipts are sent in and processed.

Donations can by made by calling the local office at 403-343-3900 or visiting Donations can also be mailed in and as long as they are postmarked on or before Dec. 31, the donor can benefit tax-wise from the gift.

Staff at the organization are hoping that they can encourage others to consider how they can help on a long term basis as well, because every contribution is going to make a difference to the lives of one in three Central Albertans, she said.

Funds raised in the 2010 campaign are invested early in 2011 to support people addressing a variety of personal concerns including managing mental health disorders; teaching youth how to be safe from bullying, violence and sexual assault; helping individuals get off addictive substances and providing access to adequate housing, food and clothing programs for low income earners.

The United Way of Central Alberta kicked off this year’s fundraising campaign last September under the theme of ‘Join the Movement’. More than 500 people came together to kick-start the campaign at a luncheon with keynote speaker Roger Breault.

Meanwhile, donations towards the campaign are still welcome into January as well.

“It’s never too late to make a difference,” said Forrest.