Volume 94, Issue 87

Wednesday, March 7, 2001


USC gets ready to talk numbers

Students up the computer creek - Police looking for FIMS break-in suspects

Hitchhiking isn't that bad, says expert traveller

Nike-funded report says Nike bad, but not too bad

Social services shafted as United Way falls short of goal


His Royal Mintiness

Social services shafted as United Way falls short of goal

By Adam Booth
Gazette Staff

Several social service organizations in the London area are starting to feel the unfortunate effects of the United Way's failure to meet its $5 million fundraising goal this year.

Due to a rise in demand for services, the United Way had projected an increase in funding for 12 social services it aids financially.

But United Way executive director, Helen Connell, said due to a lag in fundraising, they were forced to give less, allocating $194,299 fewer than they gave at the conclusion of last year's campaign.

Connell said along with receiving fewer donations than expected this year, the United Way's additional reserves used to supplement donations were already exhausted last year.

"It's a very difficult job our volunteers had to do, but we do believe the services do help the community" Connell said, indicating the need for all involved to press on, despite the financial setback.

Connell also said despite competition from many charities and campaigns to acquire donations from the public, Western has been quite generous in its support.

Last week, Western faculty and staff donated $257,254 to the United Way, an all-time high for Western's annual campaign, according to Frank Miller, Western's United Way campaign co-chair.

Among those services feeling the sting of the funding shortfall is Hospice of London, which provides care to terminally ill patients.

"We'll have to make an appeal to the generosity of Londoners to help make up for what the United Way couldn't provide," said Ray Dilling, executive director of Hospice of London.

He also said that while he was disappointed, the shortfall was not all that surprising with a tight economic market and increasing financial need for services.

Dilling said the hospice will have to become more proactive with its campaigning in the community, but added he was optimistic about the group's ability to stay financially afloat.

Joanne Sherin, clinical manager of Family Services London, another group hit hard by the United Way campaign's financial disappointment, said 84 per cent of their funding is provided through the United Way.

While the United Way is still trying to do what it can to help the situation, Sherin said, Family Services London will need to do some creative thinking to develop new ways to bring in funds.

"We continue to appreciate the service the United Way gives, but each time it doesn't reach its goal we are harder pressed to support the poorest members of our community," she said.

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