Community lifts United Way past their fundraising goal.

February 13, 2020

Belleville, ON – United Way Hastings & Prince Edward announced a $1,962,062 achievement on Thursday morning at its annual breakfast celebration surpassing it’s fundraising goal of $1,950,000.

In early January the organization launched a final push as they were projecting a shortfall; with three weeks left in the campaign period, the community responded in a remarkable way pushing the agency past the goal line for the first time since 2015.

“Throughout the campaign season our focus has been on telling the stories of lives changed as a result of the programs and services offered by United Way funded agencies” said Brandi Hodge, Executive Director. “This achievement tells a story too – it’s a story of a community that supports its own – one where neighbours help neighbours – one where people who need help can get it and those who are able to help, do. We really do live in an amazing community”.

The morning celebration started with Allyson Tufts, local author of two books “Lessons From Behind the Glass” and “Korah’s Butterfly”, as the keynote speaker.  Allyson shared her story that reflected on her experiences in a community within a community, on the importance of relationships, belonging, engagement and support.

The audience met three local people who accessed United Way funded programs and had their lives changed as a result; Behzad Tajik, John Lutz and Amber Edgar joined United Way staff and volunteers on the campaign trail to share their stories of success and hope as people who participated in United Way funded programs. Mr. Lutz spoke to the crowd of 140 people  expressing his appreciation. “As hard-working volunteers and generous donors, your support is crucial to the continuation of all the programs that the three of us and thousands of others have accessed.  United Way funding makes them possible and on behalf of everyone who has asked for help through a United Way funded agency, we simply wanted to say thank you for your support of the United Way campaign”

“I’m proud of the community”, said Don Williams, 2019 Volunteer Campaign Chair and Business Site Director of Kennametal Stellite. “Our workplace runs an employee payroll campaign every year, and this year, like many other workplaces who participate in the campaign, saw increases in support from our employees—it’s a fantastic feeling to know that everyone around you wants to make life better for others”.

United Way HPE is in the process of evaluating applications for funding from the not-for-profit sector locally.  “24 community volunteers completed a thorough and comprehensive review of 40 not-for-profit organizations requesting funding for 54 programs” said Hodge. “The need is high, but we will be able to fund a lot of great work in our community as a result of this achievement—we can’t say thank you enough”.