By DAVE BROWN
United Way of Sarnia-Lambton
With week one in the books for the United Way campaign, the fundraising is continuing to trail last year slightly.
We are not concerned at this point in the drive. The campaign is still very early and we are seeing and hearing some positive signs. It might be that we were just off to an extraordinary start last year, one that was hard to match. Our other indicators remain positive although we reaching the goal this year will be a challenge. Having said that, there is comfort in being ahead of last year’s pace.
One of the early positive campaign indicators is from Styrolution. By noon the day Styrolution kicked off their campaign, employees had reached over 30% of their goal.
We expect to see some positive upticks shortly. Three of the four largest campaigns are underway now and two of which match employees and retirees dollar for dollar. Once these campaigns begin to report interim figures, we will quickly surpass the one third mark of the campaign total.
This week will see Suncor Energy commence their employee campaign and as traditional, will run an intense two week campaign. The employee fundraising team at Suncor run a well-organized, high energy campaign that makes it difficult for anyone to miss. The campaign has a great blend of special events, training, and canvassing that result in a quick boost for the community campaign.
The NOVA employees campaign will wrap up on October 4 which when you include the corporate match, the employee’s totals, special events, and the retirees to date, can provide as much as a 10% or more of the total community effort.
A number of non-industrial campaigns are also underway. Several of the Federal Government employees are already fundraising with both the Department of Fisheries and Oceans and the RCMP having already started. Transport Canada employees are close to beginning their drives, and Canada Border Services will be next.
The Schools are also very close to commencing their fundraising for the United Way. The Lambton Kent Public School teachers will be receiving their kits and pledge cards this week, as will the St. Clair Catholic School Board. LCCVI in Petrolia will be the first of the Secondary Schools to kickoff and have traditionally been a stronghold for the United Way there.
In total, the United Way has reached $610,000 which represents nearly 33% of the $1.85 million goal.
The campaign will run until the end of December.