The United Way has announced the final total of their 2016 Community Campaign during a media conference held this morning at The Redpoll Centre at Shell Place. Campaign Chair, Colin Hartigan, delivered the good news.
“We were at $5.8 million when we left for Christmas,” said Hartigan. “To be talking about dollars in the millions in THIS YEAR is phenomenal. When we came back in 2017, more results arrived along with a large anonymous donation which took us from $5.8 million to $6.3 million. If $5.8 was phenomenal, then $6.3 million is extraordinary.”
The campaign – which kicked off early in September in the shadow of a lingering economic downturn and in the recovery phase of Canada’s costliest natural disaster – engaged thousands of volunteers and contributors throughout the community and in workplaces.
“Those who were in a position to give, gave more,” said Hartigan. “Those who couldn’t give money gave in other ways. It was truly a total team effort.”
While raising $6.3 million is great news, there is recognition that it still falls short of growing needs in the community.
“We know there is a gap between what we were able to raise and the requests of our agencies,” said Cecilia Mutch, Executive Director. “However, our Community Investment Team is going to work hard to make funding recommendations to the board that will result in maximum impact. We have met with all of our agency partners to determine what makes the most sense.”
Meanwhile, the Fire Recovery Fund continues to support agencies dealing with direct impacts from the fire and programs and services that have been created to respond during the rebuilding and recovery phase following the disaster. The total pledged to the fund is $4.5 million, $1.5 million of which has already been invested.
“About 25 agencies and initiatives have been supported through the Fire Recovery Fund,” said John Evans, Chair of the Community Investment Committee and Co-Chair of the Community Partnerships Table. “We are taking a collaborative approach to provide support to the sector as it recovers and responds during this challenging time.”
The United Way Board of Directors is expected to make allocation decisions at their February meeting. Agency partners will receive funding notifications by mid-March.