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United Way B.C. launches fall fundraising campaign in Nanaimo

Kickoff breakfast held as agency asks workplaces to make donations
Julie Rushton, United Way B.C. community impact manager, talked about some of the programs and services that the agency is able to deliver. (Greg Sakaki/News Bulletin)


Community members got together on United Way B.C. Day this week to commit to making the agency’s fall campaign a success.

United Way B.C. held a kickoff breakfast for its annual workplace campaign on Wednesday Sept. 26, at the Coast Bastion Hotel. Workplace campaigns, according to a press release, are “perhaps the organization’s most critical revenue-generation” source, with more than 400 businesses taking part.

Julie Rushton, United Way B.C. community impact manager, talked about some of the agency’s programs, such as dignified food access, emergency relief, B.C. 211 help line services, and healthy aging support services. She said United Way’s work on combatting homelessness is near and dear to her heart, as the agency helps provide stability for people with precarious housing situations.

“We couldn’t do this work without corporations, without donors, without or provincial partners and our federal partners,” she said. “And through our donors – people like you – we can continue to provide these services to additional communities, outside of what’s already being funded.”

Coastal Community Credit Union helped ensure the fall campaign got off to a strong start, with president and CEO Adrian Legin announcing a $10,000 donation. He said CCCU is proud to support United Way’s vision, and noted that the agency is able to amplify the impact of financial donations to provide “vital programs and services that meet unique needs of local communities.”

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Legin praised United Way’s work during crises like wildfires and floods to provide strategic support, supplies and funding in affected communities, but added that the agency puts donations to work in many other ways, too.

“As we know, their efforts are broad-ranging, including needs like poverty, shelter, food assistance, trauma and mental health supports from youth to seniors…” he said. “This is an organization that deeply cares about British Columbians.”

Kitty Chadwick, sales administrator with Mosaic Forest Management, was there to talk about the ways a workplace can support United Way, after Mosaic raised $70,000 last year. She said staff members believe in United Way and the difference it makes in the community, but also have fun with the fundraising, such as 50/50 draws that start conversations, and online auctions that create good-spirited bidding wars.

“We can trust that our dollars will be spent wisely, the donations stay local and the United Way will address local issues,” she said.

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