United Way campaign reaches half its goal

  • Oct. 31, 2012 2:57 p.m.

The United Way campaign has recently reached the halfway mark and 51% of the goal has already been raised.

The campaign goal for this year is $1.99 million and so far $1.07 million has been raised.

“That number is steadily growing. While $1 million has been achieved two weeks earlier than last year, we are in no way slowing down our work,” said John Knoch, 2012 volunteer campaign co-chair. “We know that the only way we will reach our goal is to ensure each person and company continue to support United Way once again.”

According to officials, the backbone to the campaign are workplaces who encourage payroll deductions, which make up about 75% of the total funds raised each year. United Way’s focus moving forward will be to continue supporting these workplaces and to look for new supporters, said Knoch.

“We are able to do presentations with many workplaces, which allow us to have speakers come in and show employees how their donations have a direct impact on someone,” said Buck Buchanan, 2012 volunteer campaign co-chair. “I have had the privilege of hearing some of these powerful stories and it drives me to work harder to support this campaign and Central Alberta.”

Stories include those like Daniel Delorme’s, a young man who lost his eyesight while standing in a grocery store. Just weeks later, his daughter was born and Delorme wasn’t able to see her. Unable to cope with the new challenges, Delorme’s girlfriend left and he became a single father.

“I couldn’t see the prices of food. I was unable to work and I couldn’t even change a diaper,” he said. “Imagine how scary it is being a new father. Now imagine losing your eyesight on top of that.”

After six months of struggle, Delorme accessed help and now speaks at workplaces supporting the United Way campaign.

The money raised during this campaign is put back into the community and provides consistent funding to over 30 programs and services in Central Alberta. Last year, 16,880 low-income families and community members received food, clothing and shelter. Altogether, more than 107,000 people in Central Alberta were helped because of dollars raised during the campaign.

– Fawcett