The Central and Northern Vancouver Island United Way is looking to raise more than $1 million in 2015-16 to benefit programs like Kids 4 Kids and Homes to Homes.
Signy Madden, United Way executive director, said the non-profit asked for letters of intent from organizations seeking funding this fiscal year and the aim was to ensure more innovative programs would receive money. It ended up providing money for 15 new programs.
Madden said one of these is the Kids 4 Kids program, run out of Georgia Avenue Community School. It provides after-school activities for vulnerable students, including sewing, cooking and games.
“Why we got involved was, it’s a great program, tons of great volunteers who are active, but they really needed a bit of money for the snacks for the kids and also to pay a coordinator to make sure they got all the volunteers to cover all the shifts, and so that’s what United Way is funding this year at the Kids 4 Kids program,” said Madden.
The United Way is also involved with aiding homeless and putting them in “market rent” apartments and ensuring they remain housed. People in this situation need access to furniture and kitchen equipment, according to Madden.
“One of our new grants that we’re funding with the Nanaimo Women’s Centre is called Homes to Homes program and it’s a centralized place where any agency, whether it’s Salvation Army, the cold, wet weather shelter, if somebody’s helping somebody get housed in supportive housing or in one of these market rent apartments, they can send their clients down to the Homes to Homes program,” said Madden.
Additionally, Madden said the United Way continues to provide money for programs such as Haven Society’s Children and Youth Who Witness Abuse program.
The United Way’s annual campaign will officially begin at Woodgrove Centre Friday (Sept. 18) with its kick off breakfast. Its goal is to better last year’s fundraising effort, which raised more than $1 million.
“Really, we’d love to raise $1.1 million,” said Madden. “We’ve got double the amount of requests than we could fund last year.”
If you’re interested in tickets for the breakfast, or for more information, please go to www.uwcnvi.ca or call 250-591-8731.