United Way close to goal as campaign winds down

  • Dec. 27, 2012 4:37 p.m.

The United Way Campaign is in its final push and so far $1,800,580 or 90% of the goal has been achieved.

While the campaign season is coming to a close United Way staff and volunteers are still encouraging people to make an end-of-year donation if they haven’t done so already. Donations can be made online through credit card on a monthly or quarterly basis.

Even though the United Way office is closed until Jan. 2, donations can still be made online at www.caunitedway.ca or by cheque or money order through the mail. If you would like a tax receipt for this year, ensure that your donation is postmarked before Dec. 31.

United Way would also like to encourage anyone visiting the web site to view the testimonials of those who have directly benefited from donations.

Daniel Delorme is one person who has been sharing his story with donors about his life experience this year. Officials say it’s been having a strong effect on everyone who hears it.

Delorme was born with glaucoma and at the age 15 lost the sight in his left eye. At the age of 26 and just prior to the birth of his daughter, he was standing in a grocery store when the optic nerve in his right eye detached, leaving him permanently blind. Delorme, who found himself a single father to an infant daughter, sat at home for over 10 months and would only venture out once a month to pay his bills. One day he heard a commercial about United Way supporting services for those who were blind. He quickly learned about agencies that could help him regain his life back.

“I felt everything was hopeless and thought that they would take my daughter away from me. Now everything is different, I am not afraid, I can go anywhere and I get to raise my daughter and have purpose in my life,” he said. “Everyone who supports the United Way helped me get out of the darkness.”

Buck Buchanan, 2012 volunteer campaign co-chair said Delorme’s story helps citizens understand that anyone can need services at one point in their life.

“In Daniel’s case, his circumstance was unavoidable and that really hits home to a lot of people. It makes us look at our family members and think that it could be one of us in his shoes. The whole point of the United Way is to make sure that there are services in place for everyone when they need them,” he said.

The money raised during this campaign will go directly back into the community and provides consistent funding to over 30 programs and services in Central Alberta. Last year, 19,613 children and youth received mentorship opportunities, camp experiences, nutrition and education support and tools to reach their full potential.

“There are many people in Central Alberta who depend on services each and every day. Last year alone, over 107,000 people accessed services supported by United Way. We are working hard to raise $1.99 million to ensure that others like Daniel and his daughter can receive the support that they need,” said John Knoch, 2012 volunteer campaign co-chair.