Centraide local sets fundraising record for 2021 campaign

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Despite raising funds during a pandemic, United Way of Kingston, Frontenac, Lennox and Addington once again exceeded its fundraising goal with a record total of $ 3.803 million in 2021.

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The announcement was made during a virtual campaign landing rally Thursday morning.

“The KFL & A community continues to grow and show support, especially when it is most needed,” 2021 Campaign Chairman Daren Dougall said in a statement.

“Thank you to everyone who donated this year and to the workplace volunteers who found new and innovative ways to make their campaigns a success. This achievement will allow agencies to continue doing the important and essential work that is needed in these difficult times. “

This year’s campaign received matching grants from RDR Wealth Management in support of the COVID-19 Response Fund as well as Jim and Julie Parker, with the Leadership Challenge grant, and Jessica Bayne Hogan, with the Women United Leadership grant. Challenge.

The event attracted over 125 community members listening to various workplaces and sectors in the region.

This was the fourth time that the local United Way had to meet virtually to announce its goal and outcome since COVID-19 security protocols put a damper on in-person gatherings starting in March 2020.

Bhavana Varma, general manager of the United Way region, said the agency would have no problem spending almost $ 200,000 more than its exceeded target.

“The board will approve 30% more of the needs of agencies that have applied for funding,” Varma said in an interview after the announcement.

“From January, we will have very deep needs in which we will have to invest. Our agencies are under a lot of pressure, so the funding requests were high, so that will definitely help us to be able to fund some of the programs that we could not have funded.

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“It works in parallel. As we collect more money, the demands of the agency are even higher. “

Varma was grateful for the highest amount raised in Centraide’s 80-year history.

“People are generous. They really hit a depth, and it was at every level, from the first donors to the people who have been giving us for years, ”she said.

“Next year we hope to go back in person. It makes such a difference.

The virtual meeting heard from Morgan, a young woman recovering from drug addiction.

She has been helped by Addiction and Mental Health Services-Kingston, Frontenac, Lennox and Addington, and the support of the United Way has changed her life for the positive, she said.

“I struggled with drug addiction for two years and have been in conflict with the law for longer,” she said.

Morgan has now been sober for seven months and has successfully completed his probation.

“I achieved my recovery goals with the help of the case management program,” she said.

She plans to finish high school, go to college, find a job and care for her young son.

“At one point in my life, I felt defeated. However, I took small steps and it got better, ”Morgan said. “I feel like I am an active member of society. Your work changes lives and it has changed mine.

According to United Way, 90 percent of funds raised go to the more than 50 agencies it supports through grants and 31 partner agencies that receive money each year, eight percent of which goes to fundraising costs and two percent to related administrative costs. .

“We don’t send our money. We pass it on to members of our community, ”said Dougall.

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