The official start to the 2016 United Way campaign is now just hours away.
We have achieved 30% of the $2,000,000 goal, and I anticipate tomorrow during the Day of Caring, we will have reached the one-thiurd level of the campaign.
We have had quite a progressive week. We started last week in the Labour Day parade where we were awarded best non-commercial entry, and both our 2016 Loaned Representatives began. First Mark Vander Vies from the Ministry of Community and Social Services started, and then Bert Thakkar from Imperial began his 13 week assignment. The Loaned Representatives are available to assist United Way Campaign volunteers throughout Lambton County and are a vital asset to the United Way team.
Both men participated in campaign planning meetings, employee presentations, and already were involved in kickoff BBQs. Both Arlanxeo and Imperial kicked off the employee drives in Thursday and Imperial announced they had raised nearly $50,000 in their first week of campaigning.
Already this week, the campaign is now in full campaign mode. Reliance Home Comfort kicked off today (Monday) with an employee breakfast this morning.
Tammy Fauteux, assistant manager with the Canadian Red Cross presenting to the employees how the Canadian Red Cross relies on the United Way funding to provide three programs in Sarnia-Lambton; transportation services, Meals on Wheels, and homeward Bound in the north part of the county for those people transitioning from a hospital stay to their home.
Of course, the big event for the week is the Day of Caring tomorrow (Tuesday, September 13). Approximately 200 people will be working at various agencies, and the homes of seniors, and the disabled assisting with general, light maintenance that the home owners need done but for various reasons are unable to have the tasks completed. We will be assisting with fall clean up, cleaning eaves troughs, painting and general maintenance.
We have 32 sponsoring companies for this year’s Day of Caring, each providing funding and employees to the cause. We have used the Day of Caring as our official campaign kickoff for many years, and often the work being done enables the seniors or disabled to live in their own homes rather than chronic care or assisted living accommodations in Sarnia-Lambton.
While the Day of Caring volunteers are out and about, the Canadian Red Cross, showing their appreciation for the United Way funding, will be holding their second annual fundraising BBQ at their offices at 416 East Street in Sarnia. The BBQ is open to all businesses in the area, their employees, and the neighbours in the area to stop by, buy themselves lunch and support the United Way which in turn help funds the programs so many people in our community are in need of.
We will continue to do a number of employee presentations at Imperial and other locations this week. We know it is important that local donors know where and how their donations are being used every day in Sarnia-Lambton. We also take the opportunity to thank employees for their past contributions, and stress that United Way is a locally run organization, managed and lead by a group of 15 local volunteer Board Members.
The week caps off with the first ever Classic Car show put on by the employees at Enbridge. The car show will feature classic cars, food and games for the whole family. If you would like to register your car or truck, or for more information, please contact Matt Miller at Enbridge at (519) 490-4893. The event will take place the Research Park at 1086 Modeland Road in Sarnia. The cost to register a vehicle is $10 each, and attendance is just a donation.