United Way send out call for help

Growing needs fuel demand to reach $1.2m fundraising target

The growing needs in the community are again adding a sense or urgency to the United Way CSO’s annual fundraising campaign.

“Despite how proud we are of the incredible impact the 2016 investments will have, there is still so much more to be done,” said Helen Jackman, executive director of United Way CSO, which encompasses the Central Okanagan and South Okanagan/Similkameen.

“Our funds were massively oversubscribed this year—we had almost 50 per cent more requests for support than we had available funding. And that’s not because our funds went down—the needs are just increasing.”

The annual kick-off breakfast events started the campaign in September and fundraising efforts will continue until the end of January to support agency partner programs that impact kids, families and seniors.

Last year, the United Way CSO campaign was able to invest $1.39 million to assist 41 local agencies om 2017.

“The financial support we receive from United Way relieves some of the burden of fundraising to cover costs of the Inside/Out Violence Prevention Program for Youth, which then allows other dollars raised to be redirected to critical frontline services,” said Karen Mason, executive director of Kelowna Women’s Shelter.

“We are so grateful to everyone who supports the United Way campaign, and are honoured to be a community partner.”

Jackman sas there are growing needs in United Way CSO region communities. “One in five children live in poverty. We have a growing gap between the rich and the poor— over 50 per cent of households are only two paycheques away from losing their car or house.

“One in five people live with mental illness and we have a homelessness crisis in the cities across our region—360 people are estimated to be experiencing homelessness in Kelowna and Penticton. These issues and challenges impact all of us. And none of us knows what is around the corner.

Jackman said the 2017 fundraising goal is $1.2 million, with some $250,000 already donated since September, coupled with other fundraisers held throughout this year and workplace employee donation campaigns.

All donations received by Dec. 31, 2017 will get a 2017 tax receipt. The campaign officially ends Jan. 31, 2018. For more information on the impact of your donations, visit: http://unitedwaycso.com/how-we-help/our-impact/

To donate to the campaign, visit: http://unitedwaycso.com/donate or call 1-855-232-1321.

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