United Way Niagara to kick off the most important campaign in its history

 Niagara, ON – We all know that poverty is hurting our community. Support and generosity of local service agencies has never been more important. The past few months have been trying for everyone and even more so for vulnerable people.

Before the pandemic, one in three people in Niagara received help from a United Way funded partner agency, a number that has certainly increased in recent months in tandem with rates of poverty, food insecurity and social isolation. According to local data from 2-1-1, the need for access to food, mental health counselling, and employment supports has nearly doubled since March. And that need is expected to keep increasing as we help people get back to work and settle into a new normal.

United Way’s 2020 Campaign kicked off today with a goal this year is to help 120,000 people in Niagara improve their lives. With the support of the Niagara community, United Way can make this goal a reality. “This is the most important campaign in our history as more people in Niagara are relying on community services than ever before” – said Frances Hallworth, United Way Niagara’s Executive Director.

“We saw first-hand the outpouring of generosity from community members to our COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund. The fund directly supported our network of partner agencies who have collectively been working to keep the most vulnerable in Niagara safe. But we have to look to the future, and embrace our role in our long-term community recovery.

The issues we have seen in the last few months – food insecurity, senior isolation, job insecurity – are not new and will continue long after we settle into our new normal. Niagara’s continued support of United Way is crucial to its recovery” said Hallworth.

In a virtual kickoff event, United Way announced three matching initiatives for donors:

For new donors: In lieu of the annual golf tournaments, past sponsors came together to pool resources and create the Friends of Golf New Donor Match which will match new donations of any amount to United Way dollar-for dollar up to $25,000. The match was announced by tournament Co-Chair and longtime United Way supporter and volunteer, Bill Heelis. The Friends of Golf New Donor Match is sponsored by:

  • Alectra Utilites
  • Bell Marine
  • Boggio Family of Pharmacies
  • BHH Benefits
  • Canadian Niagara Power Inc.
  • Cooper Wealth Management
  • Durward Jones Barkwell & Co.
  • Ellis Engineering Inc.
  • Heelis, Little, Almas & Murray LLP
  • Margaret Vail – Re/Max
  • Mountainview Building Group
  • Performance Auto Group
  • Skyway Lawn Equipment Ltd.
  • Sullivan Mahoney LLP
  • Wormald Masse Keen Lopinksi
  • VDC Canada
  • Vine & Partners LLP

For returning donors: Following their $100,000 commitment to United Way’s COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund, The Brown Homestead in association with the Humeniuk Foundation announced their pledge of an additional $100,000 towards the #UNIGNORABLE Match which will match increases in donations of any amount from donors who give between $1 and $1,200.

For leadership donors and above ($1,200+): Peter W. Partridge, Chair of United Way Niagara’s Board of Directors, was pleased to announce the $50,000 Partridge Family Leadership Match in memory of his father, Peter M. Partridge. The leadership match matches all new leadership gifts of $1,200 or more dollar-for-dollar, as well as increases from current leadership donors of 10% or more.

About United Way: United Way works to tackle some of the biggest social issues in Niagara; investing in solutions to poverty, food security, mental illness, homelessness, domestic violence and social isolation.