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Charity asks all to help

United Ways annual campaign reaches halfway mark with funds climbing toward annual goal
Charity asks all to help

by Janet Southcott At this time of year, Powell River and District United Way provides workplace presentations to show how easy it is to support the local community by joining its payroll deduction program. Right now, corporate donations are up, and so are payroll deductions and direct debit. Still, the campaign team is thinking outside the box to find more ways of encouraging funds.

Nadine Porchetta is the United Way campaign coordinator with five hours a week funded by First Credit Union. “In these challenging economic times it is important to get people on board with payroll deduction,” she said. “Payroll deduction is simple; donating as little as $2 every paycheque makes a big difference.”

Flourishing this year are workplace campaigns. An example is River City Coffee. “On November 17 we will be going into River City and decorating it with United Way balloons, brochures and pamphlets,” explained Porchetta. “All tips from that day will be donated to United Way, and owner Kelly Sketchley has offered to match them.”

There are also plans for a workplace campaign at First Credit Union during the week of November 21 to 28. First Credit Union is a long-time supporter of United Way, taking part in payroll deduction, workplace campaigns and providing funds to United Way initiatives. The main customer service area will be decorated and donation cans will be located at each teller’s booth.

A large display at Powell River Town Centre Mall has been created in the old Easy Home location across from WalMart. Porchetta is working with mall merchants to join in on workplace campaigns by providing an opportunity for customers to donate. “We are considering various methods to engage community support, including setting up a table for a couple of days in front of our display, providing one-time pledge forms.”

Donation of aeroplan miles is another initiative. United Way has received a charitable pool account so people can donate their aeroplan miles versus spending the miles themselves. This can be done online or at Powell River CIBC, which is also taking part in a workplace campaign. Scotiabank, RBC Royal Bank and Bank of Montreal also have plans to contribute to United Way’s campaign.

“We are looking at a variety of different options for people to ‘get in the way,’ however the payroll deduction program still remains the cornerstone of the United Way campaign and is still the easiest way for people to contribute,” said Porchetta.

The charity, which is national in scope, raises funds locally for distribution to local community non-profit organizations wherever it has a branch. This year, Powell River and District United Way has a goal of raising $200,000.

United Way provides funding to Powell River Community Services Association, BC Children’s Hospital, Powell River Model Community Project for People with Disabilities, Powell River Association for Community Living, Powell River Therapeutic Riding Association, Powell River Brain Injury Society, St. John Ambulance, Westcoast Access and Canadian Cystic Fibrosis

Foundation. Canadian Diabetes Association and Canadian National Institute for the Blind are member agencies.

United Way also supports two initiatives, Success by 6 with the ORCA (On The Road with Children’s Activities) Bus and Volunteer Powell River.

To contact Porchetta about arranging for a workplace presentation, or for information about donating, readers can call the United Way office 604.485.2132.