The United Way for the City of Kawartha Lakes kicked off its campaign at Smitty’s Restaurant today by announcing that Police Chief Mark Mitchell of the Kawartha Lakes Police Services will be the 2018-2019 Campaign Chairperson. Traditional support through donors, workplaces and volunteers continues to be critical to the United Way’s campaign. Sheila O’Connell, Supply Chain Manager at Crayola Canada and Brett Goodwin, Dean and Principal of Fleming College’s Frost Campus helped to reveal a partnership that will increase support for UWCKL’s food security work. 30,000 square feet of vacant land at Crayola Canada will be developed with the help of Fleming staff and students. This social innovation garden project will enhance the availability of fresh produce for programs such as the Good Food Box, collective kitchens, meals on wheels, cooking classes, food banks, food cupboards and the Kawartha Lakes Food Source.
Chief Mitchell noted that donors, volunteers and partnerships are key to developing consistent funding for vital programs, “The City of Kawartha Lakes is a wonderfully vibrant community, but there are those within this community who need our help. Whether it is in times of emergency or those dealing with chronic issues, the United Way is there with a variety of services to meet those needs. Those services are delivered by agencies and United Way, but it is our donors, however, who make it all happen. It’s how we show that we care.”
“We are extremely grateful to Chief Mitchell for his leadership. We promised the Chief this will be a great learning journey on how we can change and enhance lives across our rural communities. Today’s launch showcases the breadth of our past and present work. We have invested more than $65,000 in bursaries to high school students since 2002 and having Morgan Watson, a past bursary recipient, share her journey into education and a job is wonderful,” said Penny Barton Dyke, Executive Director of UWCKL.
Going forward, Shantal Ingram, Community Investment Coordinator for UWCKL added,
“This is a year to inspire one another to give, mentor people and strengthen our support. Every year, hundreds of volunteers organize their campaigns with colleagues to raise funds through payroll deduction, lunches, chili cook offs, school assemblies, sports events, and even job exchanges with management and staff. Please know that your efforts and commitment inspire and bring hope to our community partners and agencies as we grow investment into quality programs and projects. We will be featuring these workplaces and teams to say thank you throughout the year.”
Duncan Gallacher, Board President of UWCKL, spoke about the growth of partnerships and the development of programs that address changing needs. “Since 2005, we have increased our social investment to not only include agencies and their programs, but we have also raised specific funds for community development projects. United Way has invested over $7 million in agency programs since 1986 and $1 million has been invested in community projects that help with food security, job and educational skills building, housing and youth. Our critical path forward is to continue to build strong partnerships with our local businesses. Crayola, Fleming College, and Hills Florist, along with several agencies and investors, shared the dream of expanding our community gardens and creating practical educational experiences for our youth. Our announcement on the land use agreement with Crayola is truly exciting! We have also created, with Community Living Trent Highlands, new garden plots in Haliburton through a Day of Caring. Women United also provided funds for a greenhouse at their Haliburton location. We worked with about 10 agencies this summer to create a Brown Bag Lunch program and comprehensive job readiness programs to King Albert Public School as a pilot hub delivery model. This is how, as a community, we should come together in planning and delivering support,” said Mr. Gallacher.