United Way campaign reaches almost half of goal

The United Way of Central Alberta has reached 49% of its goal.

This year’s campaign goal is set at $1.96 million and so far $953,000 has been raised. The campaign kicked off in September.

“We are just slightly ahead of last year’s pace,” said Sherri Smith, co-chair of the campaign. “We are encouraged that there are still campaigns going on to help us reach our goal.”

Last year, the campaign raised $1.9 million and helped 92,000 Central Albertans.

“If we weren’t there to help those who need us than that would be devastating,” said Smith. “We support so many agencies and organizations and they really do rely on us.”

A number of companies and organizations have raised money for this year’s campaign including Red Deer College, whose goal was to raise $30,500.

“We are really excited to hear about all the organizations in the workplace campaigns because a lot of our money gets raised through workplaces,” said Smith.

“There are so many exciting things happening. We have a Rebels game on December 9th called the ‘Socket to ‘Em’ sock toss where we gather up socks from agencies.”

Smith also added that it only takes $25 to buy 10 pairs of socks for someone in need.

“It is really nice to see the money the College is raising and then some other businesses and its really nice that they all participate and get all their employees involved,” said Smith.

Earlier this year, the United Way invested the money raised in last year’s campaign into the community. The majority of funds were used to address community priority areas such as reducing the rate of homelessness, helping families escape violence, enabling seniors to live independently and empowering children and youth to be all that they can be.

Broad strategies continued to receive funding in the amount of $100,000 through the Community Initiatives Fund. Resources will be used to develop strategies to reduce poverty, increase awareness and advocacy for the sector, support agency leaders and staff and build individual, agency and community capacity.

These areas were identified as priority issues by Central Albertans during an extensive community engagement project undertaken by United Way in 2010.

A further $117,000 was directed to charitable agencies through the donor designation program and $219,000 was used to support the community through United Way.

Established in 1965, the United Way of Central Alberta is a charitable organization working to improve lives and build community by engaging individuals and mobilizing collective action.

United Way supports a wide range of programs and services in Sundre, Rocky Mountain House, Ponoka, Sylvan Lake, Stettler, Lacombe, Bashaw, Red Deer and in the townships in between.

For more information call 403-343-3900 or visit www.caunitedway.ca.