Follow The Trail Of Your Dollar

Follow The Trail Of Your Dollar

August 26, 2016

​Where does your donation go?

Someone asks for help.....we donate (sometimes with very little deliberation)....we forget about it until we are asked again.....and the cycle continues. I know that this has been my experience; always hoping of course that my contribution is making a difference but not completely sure how much of an impact I am really making. That all changed for me five years ago when I became involved with United Way of St. Catharines by volunteering for the Community Investment Panel. I was being asked to help, but this time I didn’t need to bring my wallet (although I was only too happy to open it again); my role instead was to join with other community volunteers and donors to make decisions about where and how all of the donations would be spent. Think on that. Someone was asking me to help decide where the dollars were most needed and would have the greatest impact on our community.

In these past five years, I have had the privilege of learning about every one of the 70 + agencies and special initiatives that are helped by our United Way. I have met with agency staff and volunteers and have visited many sites to witness their programs firsthand. Our committee studied mission statements, program details, budgets and financial statements (that last part was very challenging for me.....who likes budgets?). It is with much heart, passion, and discernment that we recommend the allocation of funds to ensure that your donation matters. There are always difficult decisions to be made, but consensus works and we are confident that your donations are in the best of hands.

So, to answer my original question.....our money goes exactly where it is needed; it assists those individuals who need it the most and your gift has an immeasurable impact on our community. With confidence, I have opened my wallet a bit wider.....hopefully our stories here will encourage others to do the same.