United Way short of goal as campaign nears end

The United Way of Central Alberta continues to move closer to this year’s goal as the 2011 fundraising campaign edges to the finish line.

To date, 73% has been raised, a total of $1,431,906 towards to $1.96 million dollar goal.

United Way is still accepting donations and would like to remind everyone that the office will be closed between Dec. 24 and Jan. 2.

Anyone interested in donating can do so online at www.caunitedway.ca or can mail in a cheque or money order.

Those wishing for a tax receipt for this year should ensure that their donation is postdated before Dec. 31.

Officials say the money raised during this campaign is put directly back into the community and provides consistent funding to more than 30 programs and services in Central Alberta.

Last year, 22,786 senior citizens and isolated individuals were able to maintain their independence and live a healthy, active life.

In total, more than 92,000 people in Central Alberta were helped thanks to donor dollars raised during campaign.

The campaign kicked off in September.

The recent Sockey Night at a Rebels game helped out as well, with $5,000 collected along with 1,138 pairs of socks for distribution.

“This event helps us bring awareness to the needs in the community and how United Way is instrumental in meeting those needs,” said Linda Wilson, United Way division chair and Sockey Night in Red Deer committee member.

“It shows that even by donating or purchasing a pair of socks, you are not only supporting United Way’s community campaign, but you’re keeping people warm during the harsh winter months.”

The socks go to a number of local charities including Central Alberta Women’s Outreach Society, Central Alberta Refugee Effort, Central Alberta AIDS Network, Red Deer Clothing Bank, Canadian Mental Health Association and the Safe Harbour Society.

During the second intermission of the hockey game, fans through donated pairs of socks onto the ice.

“We can’t thank the community enough for their support. This was a great event and exceeded our expectations,” said Jodi Hinshaw, Sockey Night in Red Deer committee chair.

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 will be used to support the community through United Way.

Established in 1965, 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 on how to donate, call 403-343-3900 or visit www.caunitedway.ca.

editor@reddeerexpress.com

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