United Way/Centraide of SD&G kicks off annual campaign virtually this morning

Juliette Labossière, Executive Director of United Way of SDG, during the live Facebook broadcast launching the organization's 2020 campaign.

CORNWALL — The United Way/Centraide of SDG officially launched its 2020 Campaign on Facebook Live today. A key theme of the 30-minute video was the importance of strategic partnerships and collaboration to effectively meet the challenges of poverty in our community, and how the United Way of SDG strives to be a leader in poverty reduction.

The half-hour Sept. 10 livestream included two stories from the community and information on how the United Way improves lives locally “by moving people from poverty to possibility, helping kids be all they can be and building strong and healthy communities.”

“A dollar to the United Way is spent in a collaborative process that allows us to oversee spending and ensure we are sharing costs, sharing expertise and building together the community we call home,” said Juliette Labossière, Executive Director of United Way of SDG, during the live virtual event.

The United Way/Centraide of SDG members continued to grow in 2020 with the organization funding 16 local agencies and 20 programs compared to 14 agencies and 16 programs in 2019.

In 2020-2021, the United Way of SDG will invest $337,786 into the community through these 16 agencies who all fall under the organization’s three pillars: moving people from poverty to possibility, helping kids be all they can be and building strong and healthy communities.

Labossière further talked about the increased relevancy of The United Way of SDG and several local organizations during the current pandemic, touching on how strategic partnerships with the Social Development Council of Cornwall & Area, 30 members of the Emergency Response Council, and the generosity of the City of Cornwall and citizens across our entire region contributed to fewer people being negatively impacted by the pandemic than could have been. It was the advocacy and a coordinated approach through these partnerships that enabled the United Way of SDG to distribute $530,000 into our region over the last 5 months. This included Akwesasne, Cornwall and all of our counties.

The work to ease our way out of the pandemic, however, is far from over and the United Way of SDG worries about the real social impact of the pandemic that will emerge in the next few months.

“I urge you to think about the United Way as the united front that will assist our community and non-profits to weather this upcoming storm and support the community on all levels as necessary,” Labossière asked of the viewers as their support is vital to the United Way’s continued work in the community.

David Booyink, Campaign Chair, also shared a few words on why he volunteers, “I’ve always had this growing desire since I was a young boy to save lives, to make a difference.”

Volunteering is a way everyone can help, and the United Way of SDG urges you to research its member agencies and look for opportunities to get involved.

Maureen Miller, a mother of two, shared how volunteers changed her life. She discussed her experience with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Cornwall (a United Way of SDG member agency), emphasizing just how much of an impact the program has had on her kids’ lives. It has given them the support and friendships they need to find happiness and explore new opportunities that they may not have had if not for the mentorship of their Big Brothers and Big Sister.

And to end the live event, John Hoyles, Executive Director of the Community Information Centre of Ottawa, shared an important resource that everyone in SDG can use. 211 is an informational helpline and website that connects people to the right information and services to navigate life’s challenges. This resource saw a 20 percent increase in SDG during the first few months of COVID-19 and Hoyles expects it will increase in popularity as we move into winter.

“The most important thing for us is to get more people to know about 211,” Hoyles stressed as this is a service for people to turn to when they have nowhere to go. His goal is to “make 211 just as known as 911,” and encourages viewers to help spread the word about this lifeline for the people who need it.

The United Way of SDG is happy to announce that it has already raised $620 to kick-off its 2020 Campaign, It needs our community’s support now more than ever to push us through the next few challenging months.

Support this year’s Campaign by donating to the United Way of SDG.

Governed by a local Board of Directors, the staff and volunteers of the United Way of SDG raise money each year to assist various local agencies. The organization says its mission “is to improve lives by working together with priorities focused on moving people from poverty to possibility, healthy people, strong communities and all that kids can be.”


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