Good afternoon! Hard to believe it is June already. I hope you are continuing to find ways to enjoy these longer days and better weather – while socially distancing.
In this week’s update, you can learn more about the adaptation of this year’s Day of Caring, United Way’s 2020 Campaign Chair, an upcoming Women United event and an update on the Seniors’ Food Box program.
DAY OF CARING
We know that many of you have participated in the past and have looked forward to a day of giving back, hard work and teambuilding every year. With physical distancing in place, this year’s typical Day of Caring projects are not possible. However, as part of the 20th Annual Day of Caring planning, the United Way volunteer committee decided to continue the spirit of the day and engage the community with a day demonstrating individual acts of caring.
All of you are encouraged to think about an act of caring that you can do on Friday, June 12 to celebrate the spirit of Day of Caring. It could be lending support to a neighbour, volunteering, donating items or funds, if you can, or simply calling someone who may feel isolated.
For more suggestions of how you and your family can show you care with a simple act, visit the event page. We’d love it if you could post a picture of your personal act to inspire others to do the same. When you post, please use the hashtags #DayofCaring #LocalLove #StaySafe or you can send your pictures to firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll post them for you!
The United Way of Kingston, Frontenac, Lennox & Addington is pleased to announce the appointment of Antje McNeely, Chief of Police for the Kingston Police Force, as your 2020 Campaign Chair.
As a long-time volunteer with United Way KFL&A, Antje brings her experience and enthusiasm for the community to this new role. Antje’s strong leadership, along with the dedication of our amazing Campaign Cabinet volunteers, is essential to help us continue to support the most vulnerable in our community.
This year brings new challenges as the community works together to find innovative ways to support those most impacted by the pandemic. United Way KFL&A’s 2020 Campaign Cabinet volunteers and staff are hard at work adapting and changing the traditional campaign structure.
This year’s campaign will continue with the theme of ‘Local Love’ and how that local love can be seen in action, in response and in recovery as our community continues to adapt to the current circumstances.
The 79th annual United Way KFL&A Campaign will kick off on Friday, September 11, 2020. Stay tuned for details on this year’s virtual adaptation.
WOMEN UNITED RECEPTIONS
In 2019 four Women United receptions were hosted through the year focussing on issues like mental health, addictions, homelessness, trafficking, abuse and violence that face women in KFL&A. We are so grateful to all who have been able to attend these sessions, and to women who shared their stories.
This year, as a result of the pandemic, we will continue to engage with women Leaders of the Way on these important issues; however, we will do this virtually. Our first virtual panel discussion will take place on June 17th at 4:30 pm.
Panel members will feature agencies working closely with vulnerable women and explore how they are addressing challenges during the time of Covid-19. The panel includes Pam Havery, executive director, Kingston Interval House, Sue Weir, executive director, L&A Interval House, Kim Irvine-Albano, director of Clinical Programming, Resolve Counselling Centre and Brea Hutchinson, executive director, Sexual Assault Centre Kingston. Antje McNeely, 2020 United Way Campaign Chair will say a few words and I will facilitate the discussion.
To learn more about Women United, please visit https://www.unitedwaykfla.ca/womenunited/
NEW HORIZONS FOR SENIORS PROGRAM UPDATE
United Way Kingston, Frontenac, Lennox & Addington received $65,000 through the New Horizons for Seniors Program (NHSP), allocated by Employment Social Development Canada and flowed these funds to registered charitable organizations that serve the KFL&A region.
With some of these funds (as well as funds from the United Way KFL&A Covid Fund), United Way’s Retirees United and Kingston Community Health Centre launched the Seniors’ Food Box program. Seniors in need are able to order a bi-weekly food box containing approximately 15 items including fresh produce and staple pantry items. Boxes will be delivered and are free to low-income seniors in the area.
Since starting the program in May, 600+ boxes have been delivered throughout KFL&A with more and more orders coming in weekly. Volunteers delivering the boxes have been overwhelmed by the gratitude of the seniors receiving the boxes, some of whom have been in tears; many volunteers have noted that their conversations seem to be helping seniors feel less isolated.
In addition to the Seniors’ Food Boxes, funds are helping to deliver meals, make wellness calls to isolated seniors and provide virtual programming through the Seniors Association, Victorian Order of Nurses, Rural Frontenac Community Services and South Frontenac Community Services.
LET’S TALK ABOUT RACE PANEL DISCUSSION
On Friday June 5th, 2020 I was privileged to be invited by local business owner, Dr. Aba Bailey, to be part of a virtual town hall discussion on race. The panel discussion was coordinated in response to a number of enquiries, and was designed to create a space for a guided conversation on racism, where people could listen, ask and discuss race and what they can do about this issue. With an intentional attempt to open the lines of communication to fight misconceptions and stereotypes, the goal was to create a more connected community.
The discussion was engaging and positive overall and I encourage anyone who wasn’t able to tune in to watch the YouTube video and continue to engage in discussions and conversations about race and racism in our community and across the country.
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