Peterborough, ON September 29, 2021 – Today, the United Way of Peterborough and District officially began the second phase of the ambitious but essential goal of raising $5,000,000.00 by 2023 for investment in community supports and services.
Today’s Campaign launch marked a very special milestone in the organization’s history that was celebrated by Mayor Diane Therrien as she delivered a proclamation to commemorate UWP’s contribution to the community. “I am so pleased to be here today to make this proclamation of United Way Peterborough & District’s commitment of 80 years working to support the most vulnerable in our community.”
Long time Cabinet and Board member Dr. Marcus Harvey will once again lead the campaign. “This past year posed challenges that the United Way was ideally situated to address. We ensured that our Partner Agencies got the resources they needed to manage the COVID-19 crisis and attracted $1.8 million in new federal grants to the community. In terms of individual and corporate contributions, we are on track to meet our $5,000,000 multi-year goal, in part, because so many long-time donors increased their contributions, despite the pandemic.” “Or maybe they did it to spite the pandemic,” Harvey mused. “Either way, this is an easy town to love!”
Heather Shaw, Senior Vice President at GM Financial echoed that sentiment when she spoke to the value of running a United Way workplace campaign locally while sharing a message from Trish Jones, Senior Vice President of Community Investments. “For over 20 years, GM Financial has contributed to United
Way in so many different ways,” said Trish “Our team members really care and support the communities in which we live and work, and I could not be prouder of how devoted they are to this campaign.”
The challenges faced globally last year have only increased the need for stable funding that our local charitable organizations require to continue serving the most vulnerable in our community. Throughout the pandemic in 2020-21, United Way Peterborough & District’s was able to respond to the most urgent needs of the community, investing $2,778,199 to provide support to 51 local agencies and 103 programs. With some of that funding being one-time or emergency supports from the federal government or local foundation grants, the need for a strong second campaign year is critical.
We are so fortunate to live in a community that, year after year demonstrates local love through
the generosity of it’s residents. “My wife Judi and I are proud to have been annual United Way Peterborough donors for more than 30 years,” said Jim Hendry at the launch event, “I have seen that ours, and all donations to the United Way, help build community and I invite everyone to join in and build community with us.”
The 2021-21 Campaign will mark 80 years of United Way Peterborough & District working with donors to build a strong and healthy community by addressing the root causes of societal issues. The unprecedented 5-year funding cycle for United Way Partner Agencies helps to provide financial stability, focusing on solutions to the #UNIGNORABLE issues of Mental Health, Homelessness, Poverty and Domestic Violence.
Kathy Neill, Executive Director at John Howard Society of Peterborough sees UWP as more than just a source of revenue. “I am grateful for the strong voice that the United Way brings to our community, especially around the complex issue of local homelessness and housing. Through their research, such as Housing is Fundamental Report, Living Wage Report and the Point in Time Enumeration, United Way leads and engages in capacity building initiatives that create meaningful impact across our social service sector.”
Although COVID-19 impacted the way United Way annual workplace campaigns have traditionally run, year-one of the campaign met the challenges of these unprecedented times head on. This did not come as a surprise to Jim Russell, CEO of United Way, “Response Recovery Resilience — in a time of crisis, these are critical elements. This is what we demonstrated, and will flourish because it is a bedrock of our community.” Explains Russell, “80 years ago the United Way started as the Community Chest, a response to the war effort, borne out of crisis, and reflecting the Response Recovery and Resilience of that time. We look back with gratitude over 80 years of building community with you. We look forward to the coming 80 years, confident in this community’s resilience, and certain of our ability together to respond and recover from any challenge. To our donors, workplaces, partner agencies, volunteers — a humble and hearty thank you!”