United Way launches campaign 0
The United Way of South Georgian Bay kicked off their 2012-13 fundraising campaign at Mountain View Public School on Thursday, Sept. 27, 2012; the students helped out campaign chair Krista Walcroft (third from left), United Way board chair Catherine Campbell (fifth from left), and United Way board member Cindy Ryerse unveil the campaign goal to raise $162,000. Morgan Ian Adams/Collingwood Enterprise-Bulletin
COLLINGWOOD — Change can start here — in 162,000 ways.
On Wednesday, with the help of staff and students at Mountain View Public School, the United Way of South Georgian Bay unveiled its fundraising goal for the 2012-13 campaign: $162,000.
It's a 25% increase from last year's target of $130,000 — a figure they were able to meet, which allowed the organization to distribute more than $93,000 to its member agencies.
While that size of increase may seem ambitious, campaign chair Krista Walcroft believes its achievable.
"We are pretty confident," she said. "We've seen more support from the community over the last couple of years, and we think the United Way has made it back onto the radar of a lot of people."
It's a far cry from a few years ago, when the organization stepped back and took an in-depth look at how it fit within the community.
"Three years ago, after we started the restructuring, we were only able to allocate $46,000 to our member agencies," noted United Way board chair Catherine Campbell.
The local United Way helps fund 11 local organizations, including the Housing Resource Centre, the Elizabeth Fry Society of Simcoe County, Breaking Down Barriers, and Big Brothers Big Sisters.
Walcroft cites the increased media exposure the local United Way has received in recent years as one of the reasons behind the comeback of an organization that she acknowledges was close to the brink.
"More people are really engaged in the process," she said.
The United Way has also branched out. In recent weeks, the organization undertook a 'backpack campaign' that saw 250 backpacks with school supplies distributed to needy kids in Collingwood, Stayner, and Wasaga Beach. The United Way was able to do that with the help of local radio station, 97.7 The Beach, and Staples. They also had a number of volunteers step forward to help put the backpacks together.
"The backpack campaign was a great way to get the public together," said Walcroft. "It made a direct difference, and showed the community what exactly we're trying to do."
For more info on this year's campaign, go to the United Way's website at www.unitedwaysgb.ca.