United Way’s “7 Days of Caring” comes to Amherstburg



UWay Food WBy Ron Giofu


United Way Windsor-Essex and its “7 Days of Caring” came to Amherstburg recently for the kickoff of this municipality’s contribution.

United Way, in partnership with the House of Shalom, Amherstburg Food & Fellowship Mission, Society of St. Vincent de Paul, Salvation Army, Diageo and Unifor Local 2098, hosted a food and after-school snack drive at the House of Shalom to bring residents together and create positive change in their community.

A food drive ran through last Friday.

Holly Kirk McLean, who is both the program co-ordinator at the House of Shalom and a member of United Way’s county engagement team, said Amherstburg is a caring community that she considers home.

“I have never met a community with a bigger heart,” she said. “When times are tough, you just help more.”

The food drive was not just to collect goods, but to raise awareness of United Way as well. She said the county engagement committee recognizes each municipality has its strengths and weaknesses and will try and fill whatever needs each municipality has.

United Way Windsor-Essex County has already kicked off its 2013 fundraising campaign and has reached out to community members across Essex County to deliver the inspiring series of events.

D.J. Lacey, president of Unifor Local 2098 and co-chair of the county engagement team, said the collection of people that attended Friday morning’s event at the House of Shalom shows United Way touches various aspects of people. It also shows everyone can all help each other.

Lorraine Goddard, director of community impact and development with United Way, said United Way has a lot of resources at its disposal and wants to connect with people at the local level.

“We ultimately believe in the power of people to create sustainable change,” said Goddard.

United Way’s county connection team is a group of people that live or work in the communities of Essex County. Through this team, United Way will hear the voices of county residents, learn about their dreams for their community and how United Way can help to create strong, healthy and vibrant communities.

United Way held its campaign kickoff event Sept. 13 and announced a fundraising goal of $5.1 million.  Funds raised will be invested in its three priority areas which include supporting basic needs and independence, positioning kids and families for success, and creating thriving neighbourhoods.

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