United Way closes in on goal

Donations made by businesses and individuals in the last few weeks have helped the United Way of Central Alberta raise 90 per cent of its $2-million goal. So far, $1.8 million has been raised.

Donations made by businesses and individuals in the last few weeks have helped the United Way of Central Alberta raise 90 per cent of its $2-million goal.

So far, $1.8 million has been raised.

Jennifer Forrest, resource development officer, said the campaign will still be deemed a success even if it falls short of the target.

“There are so many people that are going to be helped through the support that the United Way received from the community,” she said.

“The more people support the United Way campaign, it will in fact allow us to help more people in the community.”

The funds raised will benefit 32 local agencies. The United Way says that these agencies are used by one in three Central Albertans.

This includes people who are managing mental health disorders, children who are learning how to be safe from bullying, violence and sexual assault, individuals trying to get off addictive substances, and those looking to access affordable housing, food and clothing programs.

The United Way was only at 58 per cent of its goal a month ago and Forrest applauded those who have since stepped up to help out.

About 75 per cent of the funds have come in from workplace campaigns and Forrest said some businesses are matching every dollar that employees donate to the United Way.

The Bank of Montreal is even matching individual employee donations of $1,000 or more by a two-to-one ratio, she added.

Other donor stories that Forrest shared included a Rotarian who made a contribution for every person in his family and a family that went door to door singing Christmas carols over the holidays to raise money for the campaign.

“It’s really exciting to see the generosity that this community has for those who may need a hand up,” she said.

The United Way will continue to collect funds until Jan. 22 in hopes of getting as close as possible to the $2-million goal.

Those interested in making a donation can call the United Way of Central Alberta at 403-343-3900 or go online to www.caunitedway.ca.

Donations can also be mailed to the local United Way office at 4811 48th St. in Red Deer.

ptrotter@bprda.wpengine.com