It's an early Christmas gift for the thousands of area residents who depend on funding from the United Way of Sarnia-Lambton. The campaign has surpassed its goal for 2010 and now stands at $1.86 million.
"The campaign ran smoothly all season long thanks to the countless volunteers within the various worksites across Lambton County," said a relieved campaign chairperson Marten VandenBroek (pictured at right with Pamela Bodkin, community investment and finance director for United Way of Sarnia-Lambton). "The campaign volunteers and special events volunteers seem to have started early this year and worked hard throughout the fall. I am so pleased to announce today that their efforts have paid off."
VandenBroek said that this year’s positive result is a reality of a group effort. "Sure, we had a lot of welcome surprises this year, but in the end, it was everybody who volunteered and contributed to the United Way collectively that made the difference," he said.
VandenBroek said that it was by no means an easy campaign. "There are a lot of people in our community who really focused their time on the United Way and did not quit until their individual campaigns were complete. In fact, many formally finished their employee campaigns and yet continued to canvass and to keep an eye out for additional events that they would run to bring in a little extra. That is what kept the campaign moving and progressing week after week," he said. "Those people deserve special thanks from the community."
The United Way is focusing its funding on Youth, Families and Seniors services, and specifically, the impact those services have on the community as well as the client.
In total, 46% of this year’s investments will be used to support Youth at Risk, enabling them to achieve positive, personal development; 25% will be used to support Healthy, Safe and Independent Seniors, and 29% will be used to fund programs that empower and strengthen Self Sustaining Families.
Examples of the funded agencies include the Salvation Army, Stroke Recovery Association, Canadian Red Cross, VON, Lambton Seniors, Boys and Girls Club, Big Brothers and Big Sisters, and the Epilepsy Support Centre.