United Way looking to collect
By Andrea Carey
With the last week of the United Way campaign quickly approaching, London residents are being relied on to help the charity reach its goal.
Although it has only raised $2 million so far, the United Way is confident about reaching its goal of $4.7 million. Last year's goal of $4.3 million was successful and the charity's plans to meet this year's goal include two huge events taking place in the next two weeks, said Rick Stevenson, resource development director for the London/Middlesex chapter of the United Way.
One of these events is through the London Transit Commission which is supporting the United Way on Nov. 21 with their second annual United Way Day on the Buses, where riders are urged to make a donation in addition to their bus fare.
Another major event scheduled in the attempt to meet their goal, Stevenson said, is the Royal Canadian Mounted Police silent auction at the Talbot Centre from Nov. 17 to 20.
The educational division of the United Way, which includes Western and Fanshawe College as well as public and Catholic schools in London, is responsible for a large aspect of the London and Middlesex campaign, Judy Corneil, co-chair of the education division of the United Way, said. Although she could not disclose the amount of money raised, she was very hopeful they would reach their goal.
Kirsten Bennett, co-chair of Western's United Way campaign, said as of last Monday, Western had raised $54,000 a number which is significantly short of the $260,000 goal they are hoping to reach by the end of next week. John Bayliss, United Way commissioner for the University Students' Council, said although they did not reach their $20,000 goal, they did manage to raise at least $14,000, which was more than was raised last year.
Corneil said bringing United Way fund-raisers into schools is very important, as it helps educate students and teachers about the importance of the charity and raises a great deal of money for the organization.
Statistics complied by the United Way of London and Middlesex reveal one in every three London households rely on the United Way which provides financial support to low-income families, as well as counselling for troubled teens and many other services.
Some United Way recipients include the 26 per cent of London children living in poverty, as well as the 50,000 Londoners living with disabilities.