United Way gets closer to goal

There’s still time to spread some Christmas cheer by helping the United Way of Central Alberta reach it’s $2-million goal.

There’s still time to spread some Christmas cheer by helping the United Way of Central Alberta reach it’s $2-million goal.

Resource development officer Jennifer Forrest said the United Way is still projecting a $100,000 fundraising shortfall.

“Everyone right now is in the holiday spirit. They’re happy. They’re going out spending money. They’re shopping for their family. We’re just hoping they’re also considering giving back to the community as well,” said Forrest on Wednesday.

Strong support has come through since last week, with 80 per cent of the $2 million raised so far.

People have until Jan. 22 to donate. The grand total will be announced on Jan. 27.

Money raised funds programs and services offered by 32 community agencies.

Agencies help people managing mental health disorders, children learning how to be safe from bullying, violence and sexual assault, people with addictions, brain injury and those looking to access affordable housing, food and clothing programs.

One in three Central Albertans access services from the agencies that the United Way campaign supports through its annual campaign.

Forrest said agency applications exceed the amount given out last year by $350,000.

“We’re going to have to make some tough decisions if we’re unable to reach that goal because every single one of the agencies do great work.

“We have to do our very best to raise the most money we possible can to ensure that the maximum services and programs can be available to people in the community.”

A citizen’s review committee, made up of volunteers, will work along side United Way staff in January to decide how the money is divided.

Volunteers are being recruited for the citizen committee.

The United Way office, located at 4811 48th St. in Red Deer, will be open today and Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. The office will be closed next week.

For more information or to donate, call 403-343-3900 or visit www.caunitedway.ca.

szielinski@bprda.wpengine.com