Good afternoon! Hope that you are enjoying the last days of October and looking forward to safe Halloween celebrations this weekend.
United Way continues to work with partners on plans for the most vulnerable members of our community, particularly those who don’t have access to warm clothing or shelter. The pandemic has made these barriers more apparent, and our agencies and community partners continue to work hard to make sure they are taken care of. We need your help to continue this work.
In this week’s update you’ll find information about this year’s adaptation of the community Coat Drive, the national launch of 211, information on the next Women United panel and a campaign update.
As temperatures continue to drop and winter approaches, coats become a necessity. Many people rely on donated items to help keep them warm; with this year’s current pandemic, getting these items to them presented a new challenge.
Typically, Kingston Health Sciences Centre (KHSC) runs a winter Coat Drive through Hotel Dieu Hospital and St. Mary’s Cathedral, where residents can donate and pick up coats on site. This year, however, circumstances are different due to pandemic health protocols now in place, so members of the public were unable to drop off and acquire coats at these locations in the usual way.
Luckily, United Way worked with our amazing community partners, and all have rallied together to continue this important program in 2020. Agencies, staff and volunteers have been quick to step up and support these changes in any way they can – by providing drop-off locations, storage space and volunteers. People will now be able to access these much-needed items through our participating agencies.
Donations of clean, new or gently used adult coats that are washable will be collected from Oct. 26 through Nov. 7. There are 7 drop off locations – 5 in Kingston and 2 in Napanee. At this time we can not accept leather, heavy wool or any clothing articles other than coats.
For more details and drop off locations visit www.unitedwaykfla.ca/coatdrive
We are grateful to volunteers who have stepped up to help sort coats. We always need more – so if you are interested in a day or two with 2-3 hour shifts, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
211 LAUNCHES ACROSS CANADA
As part of its COVID-19 response, the Government of Canada provided funding to United Way Centraide Canada to increase the capacity and expand access to 211 services for all Canadian residents.
211 helps people navigate the complex network of government and community programs and services quickly and easily and promises access 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, in over 150 languages. Across Canada, the service is offered through a variety of ways including phone, chat, website, and text. In all cases, 211 confidentially connects people who are seeking support to the right information and services.
Existing 211 services across Canada saw a dramatic increase in the number of people reaching out for help during the first wave. Overall, calls and website visits to existing 211 services increased by 31% and 45%, respectively, in the March to August timeframe. This expansion of services, announced on October 15th, will be even more valuable during the second wave of the pandemic.
WOMEN UNITED PANEL
While we all miss in person events, United Way volunteers and committees have done an excellent job embracing the new normal and virtual events.
United Way’s Women United committee has hosted two panel discussions this year, which you can view on our website, and they are eager to host a third on Wednesday, November 18 at 4:30 pm.
This panel will focus on food security; throughout the pandemic, food security has become the single most pressing issue facing our community. Representatives from funded agencies will discuss how they’ve come together and discovered innovative ways to ensure the community’s most vulnerable have access to fresh and healthy food.
Women United is an initiative for Women Leaders of the Way, those who give $1,200 or more, individually or jointly with a partner or spouse. For more information on how to get involved with Women United please visit https://www.unitedwaykfla.ca/womenunited/
As we pass the halfway point of the 2020 Campaign the campaign has crossed the 75% mark. With four and a half weeks to go, and $2.2 million raised, the numbers continue to reflect the incredible generosity of this community. The Campaign Cabinet, led by Antje McNeely, weren’t sure what to expect this year, and are grateful that so many workplaces and individuals in our community continue to step up and show their support.
This year’s goal is ambitious, reflecting the growing needs in our community and we aren’t there yet, but with your support United Way KFL&A is getting closer and closer to this year’s goal and there is no doubt the momentum will continue in this final stretch of the campaign. Stay tuned in the coming weeks for details on this year’s touchdown on November 26th, 2020.
You can always stay up to date by following our social media channels – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn and of course, you can find videos at www.unitedwaykfla.ca/videos/ and regular updates on our website at www.unitedwaykfla.ca
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