Good morning! As fall approaches and we all adjust to the changing season, we’ll continue to send you periodic updates to keep you informed about what is going on at your United Way.
In this week’s update, you can learn more about the local impact of donations to the COVID-19 Response Fund, Seniors Helping Seniors, the local Backpack Campaign and this year’s campaign kickoff plans.
COVID-19 EMERGENCY RESPONSE FUND UPDATE
Since the beginning of the pandemic, United Way has found ways to collaborate and look at collective and proactive approaches to the ever changing situation. United Way continues to work with our frontline agencies to ensure our community is able to serve all residents, especially those who are particularly vulnerable. Thanks to funds donated to the COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund and funds being stewarded through the United Way, thousands of individuals have received support in these challenging times.
Thank you to this generous community for the support and local love. The needs continue. The number one need through the pandemic has been and continues to be food. It is heart wrenching to imagine people going hungry. Meal and food programs have grown exponentially, with 1,600 meals served every day and 3,300 hampers/baskets being delivered every month to low-income seniors, students and families. There is, not surprisingly, an increased need in mental health supports and counselling, with many people needing subsidies as they lose benefits and the ability to pay. Calls for support for domestic violence and sexual assault have grown considerably.
In the first four months of the pandemic United Way has funded programs to help local agencies step up to support these needs:
- $1.6 million of special Covid-related funding was invested in 87 local programs
- 42,000 individuals have been helped across Kingston, Frontenac, Lennox & Addington – meals, food, counselling, support
- Additionally, over $900,000 was invested in supporting and providing stable funding for partner agency programs in the same period.
Local agencies have used this funding to innovate, adapt their programs, add virtual components and technology, and find new ways to support essential services through this period.
RETIREES UNITED ASKS SENIORS TO HELP SENIORS
Since the beginning of the pandemic, United Way KFL&A’s Retirees United have been quick to step up and show their support; now they are asking seniors in the community, who can and have the means, to give back if they can.
“My wife and I are fortunate that, with reduced living costs and no travelling expenses, we are coping. So, we each decided to contribute the $300 OAS supplement to help seniors who are in need. For us the obvious charity was United Way KFL&A because it has been a local leader in addressing the needs of our community with its special COVID fund. As a volunteer with the Seniors’ Food Box program, I am aware of how much this has helped provide healthy and fresh food for seniors who are not able to shop or to afford such food. If you are one of those fortunate enough to not need this OAS supplement, please consider donating it to a responsible support program for our fellow Seniors.” – Jim and Julie Parker
Please visit www.unitedwaykfla.ca/donate and check Seniors Helping Seniors if you are able to help in this way. Funds raised will support Seniors Food Boxes for seniors with low-income.
Hard to believe, but back to school is just a few weeks away!
Every year United Way KFL&A provides funding for the Backpack Campaign, an annual program that provides families and children with supplies for another school year. Unfortunately, because of distancing and safety guidelines this year’s backpack program has to be different.
The demand for these supplies is higher than ever and United Way is using funds typically given to the Backpack Campaign to purchase supplies and distribute them through local school boards and agencies in the Kingston community. Agencies in Lennox and Addington and Frontenac have received funds separately to purchase and distribute supplies.
Thank you to Bell, Costco, Canadian Tire, Staples, Novelis Inc. for supporting this program. With their support and United Way funding, agencies and school boards will distribute backpacks and school supplies directly to children and youth across the region.
We know many of you have contributed to the program in the past; if you’d like to continue your support, we’d be happy to accept donations of funds or supplies from all of you who want to show your #locallove and help set students up for success this year. If you’d like to donate please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.unitedwaykfla.ca/donate/ and indicate in the box that you’d like your funds directed to the Backpack Program.
2020 CAMPAIGN AND KICK OFF
Campaign will look a bit different this year and the same goes for our traditional Campaign Kick off – United Way volunteers and staff will miss seeing each other and sharing breakfast at the Ambassador!
Campaign Chair Antje McNeely, the Campaign Cabinet and staff have been working hard to find ways to make the day just as memorable and inspiring. Mark your calendars for Friday, September 11th and watch for the goal announcement, as well as videos, photos, interviews and more that can be viewed on our website, via email and social media channels. More info will be available in the weeks to come.
The campaign itself is being adapted to include more virtual tools and supports, including agency speakers, tours, online materials and training. Shout out to all workplace volunteers, working hard to adapt their campaigns to this year’s reality, and to all donors who continue to dig deep, and find ways to step up and give what they can to support people in need.
People in the community need your support now more than ever; with your continued support, United Way can continue to meet immediate needs and support the most vulnerable.
Thank you! Your support is changing lives impacted by this pandemic.
Take care. Stay safe and well!
President & CEO | United Way of Kingston, Frontenac, Lennox & Addington