United Way extends deadline to reach its $1.5 million fundraising goal

Starting this year, the United Way will change how it distributes the funds it collects through its annual campaign.

The United Way of the Central and South Okanagan Similkameen says its so close to reaching its $1.5 million goal, it has extended its annual community fundraising campaign deadline to Feb. 12. Typically the campaign ends on Jan 31.

But the United Way says it is allowing more time this year to get the maximum amount of donations in.

“We’re so close to reaching our goal of $1.5 million”, said Shelley Gilmore, executive director of the Central and South Okanagan Similkameen United Way.

“The needs in our community have grown and we are committed to helping families in crisis, youth at risk, and seniors needing community support. We’ll announce the final tally on Feb. 12.”

She said the announcement of the extension was a final public appeal to the community to give generously to support fundraising camapign.

In a change from previous years, money collected from donations to the camapign now goes into what the the United Way’s is calling its Community Fund, a pool of money that draws on the combined strength of donors to support individuals, families and communities. In the past, the local United Way had a number of organizations and groups it helped fund from the money it collected in its annual fundraising campaign.

The Community Fund helps not only in the short-term by meeting immediate needs, said Gilmore but also in the long-term, by addressing the root causes of social issues.

She said the United Way is evolving from a fundraising organization to a what she called a “community impact” organization, engaging individuals and mobilizing collective action to create long-lasting positive change for people and communities.  In doing so, the United Way says it wants to ensure resources are invested where they are most needed and where they will have the greatest impact.



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