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United Way Elgin Middlesex
United Way unleashes local love to fight unignorable issues

2018 Campaign targets local poverty and youth success

September 20, 2018, Elgin Middlesex, ON - United Way Elgin Middlesex launched its 2018 fundraising campaign at the 3M Harvest Lunch today with a call to rally around two critical issues facing our region: local poverty and youth success.

"Our region has the third highest child poverty rate in Canada. It's staggering that one in five kids lives in a household that struggles to pay rent and put food on the table," says United Way CEO Kelly Ziegner. "Our only choice as a community is to stand up and confront these issues head-on."

The United Way 3M Harvest Lunch marks the start of the organization's 2018 fundraising campaign. More than just a number, this year's campaign focuses on galvanizing community support to tackle local poverty and youth success at the root.

"Hunger, homelessness and vulnerable youth aren't somebody else's problem," says Kyla Woodcock, 2018 Campaign Chair and Founder, Forest City Sport & Social Club – and United Way's newly proclaimed Chief ChangeMaker. "These problems belong to all of us and we can solve them when we stand together. Every donation, large or small, fuels United Way's crucial work."

United Way invests millions of dollars every year in a broad range of programs and services that meet urgent needs for our community's most vulnerable. This includes food, housing, transportation access and recreation close to home. United Way also leads initiatives such as London for All, a long-term solution developed by City of London to eliminate poverty in a generation.

"Complex problems have complex solutions that go beyond a one-year campaign," says Ziegner, stating that the organization will report on progress at its annual Impact Celebration slated for spring 2019. "More than ever, we need our entire community to come together, show their local love, and help us in our vision of creating a community where everyone matters."

NEW! Local Love in Action bus takes 2018 Campaign to the County

For the first time ever, United Way took the 2018 campaign on the road to Strathroy, St. Thomas and Aylmer via the Local Love in Action bus, sponsored by 3M Canada and the Boys and Girls Club. 2018 marks a full year since United Way Elgin-St. Thomas and United Way London Middlesex unified to become United Way Elgin Middlesex. The organization now covers a region representing nearly half a million people.

Campaign stops celebrated the amazing ways people show their local love for their community and urged people to work together to address key local issues. Local citizens, media and United Way funded agencies gathered at each campaign stop for a quick message, coffee and ice cream.

The Local Love in Action campaign bus will be in regular use by the Boys and Girls Club for the duration of the 2018 Campaign.

About United Way Elgin Middlesex

United Way Elgin Middlesex is the region's largest funder of non-governmental social services. Every year, United Way raises millions of dollars that are invested back into the community to improve lives locally. In 2018, the organization is investing in 96 life-changing programs that tackle systemic issues like local poverty and youth success at the root. United Way changes lives now, and for years to come.

United Way Elgin Middlesex invests in life-changing local programs that tackle local poverty and youth success at the root. As the largest funder of non-governmental social services in the region, United Way funds 96 programs at 56 local agencies.

LOCAL POVERTY

The issue:

  • Our region has the 3rd highest child poverty rate in Canada.
  • 1 in 5 kids in our community live in a household that struggles to pay rent and put food on the table. Families who spend over 50% of income on rent are at risk of homelessness.

Our response:

  • United Way invests millions of dollars every year in a broad range of programs and services close to home that meet basic needs like food, housing, transportation access and recreation. When kids and families succeed, our whole community prospers.
  • As lead agency for the London for All poverty reduction strategy, United Way is working with more than 60 organizations and 160 volunteers from diverse backgrounds to implement 112 recommendations to end poverty in a generation.

YOUTH SUCCESS

The issue:

  • 78% of young people aged 18-29 our community work in precarious jobs.
  • Nearly 1 in 10 youth in Ontario are identified as NEET (not in education, employment or training). In our region, this means that approximately 10,000 youth are not reaching their full potential.

Our response:

  • United Way invests in tutoring and education programs that build confidence, impact classroom participation and help children and youth achieve their goals. Mentoring program participants are 17% more likely to be employed as adults.
  • We invest in drop-in centres that provide free, safe, and inclusive spaces for youth to receive life and career counselling, make social connections and learn alternatives to high-risk behaviours and activities. Youth develop a sense of purpose, learn new skills and set academic and employment goals.
  • We invest in outreach, intervention and counselling for rural youth facing challenges with substance abuse, school, anger management, employment and housing. Direct support decreases the likelihood that youth will get involved with the criminal justice system.

Last Updated: Thursday, 20 September 2018 13:28:18 PM EST

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