United Way kicks off its 2013 fundraising campaign



By Ron Giofu


United Way has kicked off its 2013 fundraising campaign and is looking for the community to help.

United Way is seeking $5.1 million in this year’s campaign and held a kickoff luncheon at the Ciociaro Club in Oldcastle Friday afternoon. Funds raised will support United Way’s three strategic investment priorities, which include supporting basic needs and independence, positioning kids and families for success, and creating thriving neighbourhoods.

Carolyn Marcotte, chair of the United Way board of directors, pointed out that 28,000 people accessed United Way services last year across Windsor-Essex County and said it wouldn’t be possible to do that without the support shown by businesses and individuals.

D.J. Lacey, president of Unifor Local 2098 in Amherstburg, and Kingsville Mayor Nelson Santos brought greetings on behalf of the United Way’s County Connection Team. Lacey noted they are listening to the voices of the community and trying to empower people to enact “positive change” in their communities.

Lacey added the County Connection Team “is excited about working with our local communities” and pointed out the “7 Days of Caring” initiative that is taking part in the local Essex County municipalities.

The “7 Days of Caring” initiative involves Amherstburg, and specifically, the House of Shalom. The House of Shalom Youth Centre, on behalf of the United Way County Engagement Committee, will be kicking off the committee’s  Amherstburg Community Food Drive this Friday from 11- 1 p.m. at the House.  Donations can be dropped off after that time at the youth centre between 3-9 p.m. Tuesday, Sept 24 – Friday, Sept 27.  Donations will help the St. Vincent de Paul, the Amherstburg Food and Fellowship Mission and the Big Brothers Big Sisters after school programs House volunteers are hosting at Amherstburg Public School and St. Bernard’s.

Amanda Best, an 18-year-old mother, noted she has been helped through the United Way-funded Family Services Windsor-Essex.

“They really do change lives,” said Best. “This is no exaggeration.”

“When you support United Way, you’re giving where you live to ensure that all residents of Windsor and Essex County have a great place to call home,” added Keith Henry, chair of United Way’s 2013 campaign cabinet and president of the Windsor Mold Group. “This year, United Way has set a fundraising goal of $5.1 million. As always, we’re going to work together to reach this goal and help those in need.”

United Way wouldn’t be able to do the things they do without the support of the community, noted CEO Penny Marrett.

“It takes a lot of hard work to raise $5.1 million and we are asking the residents of Windsor-Essex County to help us,” she said. “Growing a strong community takes all of us working together across Windsor and Essex County. We’re so thankful to the thousands of donors and volunteers who give back to support those in need in our community.”

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