The United Way of the Central & South Okanagan Similikameen has set a goal this year of $1.5M to support and build community here in the Okanagan Similkameen. It’s the biggest campaign goal ever set by the local United Way.
“It’s a big number,” says Shelley Gilmore, Executive Director of the UW CSO, “However, it is a number that our community needs. Every year the demand in our communities gets higher and higher so this year we are making sure the community is aware of what is needed and is being asked to take action to participate in making an impact. Our goal is to build community and United Way is the vehicle for this change.”
She said the relationships with the community partners is very strong and they work together to make the difference.
“By supporting the United Way in this campaign, the community can trust that investments are done with the whole community in mind, putting focus on the issues and the root causes to achieve long lasting change.”
The United Way CSO revealed its Community Action Plan initiative at Friday’s Kick-off breakfast speaking to the collective action that is required to make our community stronger.
This year’s slogan is My Story, My United Way, My Community and is a call for community action.
“Without community health, there is no economic health,” says Jim Paterson, campaign co-chair and executive director of business development with the City of Kelowna,
“But we are seeing a stronger economic base through home sales and general business results and we need to ensure that this economic strength translates into social and community health as well”.
As part of the year’s campaign, the United Way plans to try and educate the public about what it does in the hopes it will help raise more money.In 2013, just under $1.3 million was raised when there was no official goal set. In 2012, the local campaign just missed its $1.2 million target.
“The United Way is uniquely positioned as that umbrella for the social service charities, providing the needed advocacy, funding and other support, bringing community together to achieve lasting positive impact,” said Paterson.