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United Way divvies up the funding pie for local agencies

Published on

Journal Staff

The United Way has decided which program to fund after coming up slightly short in its 2018 campaign objective.

Sixteen programs that currently get funding will get an increase, 16 programs remain unchanged, and three are being eliminated.

One program will see a funding decrease, and four programs will get United Way funding for the first time.

The three de-funded programs are: Lambton Seniors Handyman/Handywoman service, St. Clair Child & Youth outreach, and Multiple Sclerosis special assistance.

The four getting regular United Way funding for the first time are life skills programs for youth and adults at the John Howard Society, a respite service offered by Lambton County Developmental Services, and Lambton Elderly Outreach’s Meals on Wheels in rural Lambton.

A team of 20 volunteers studied the funding requests of 40 programs over the past four months, said volunteer community investment chair Gerry Whitcombe.

The successful ones are making a real impact in one of three key areas – children, seniors and strong families – and they’re doing it with budget efficiently and by working together, he said.

“The volunteers really dove into this tough task.”

The United Way of Sarnia-Lambton raised $1,969,000 in 2018. Though the campaign was just $31,000 short of the $2-million goal, it ended a 25-year span of reaching or exceeding the financial target.

Overall, 39% of the money will be invested in youth, 31% in families and 30% in seniors.

The board of directors also approved a one-year “venture grant” of $30,000 to Harmony for Youth. Harmony uses a “pay it forward” method to provide free music lesson for youth who pay back the hours in the community.

The United Way also announced it’s moving its East Street offices to 1362 Lambton Mall Rd. on April 1. The $15,000 saved will be applied to the 36 programs and services it supports.


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