Feed the hand that feeds the community.
The Lloydminster & District United Way, which currently funds 13 local member non-profit organizations, held its breakfast day today, hoping to raise about $1,400 in fast-food sales.
“This is our third year for it; it’s been a real success in the community,” said Brenda Loewen, executive administrator of United Way in advance.
Volunteers from members groups that are funded by United Way in the Border City begin cooking breakfast buns at the Lloydminster Native Friendship Centre at 6 a.m.
They aimed to fill breakfast orders for businesses with deliveries by Lloydminster Rescue Squad crews from 7:30 to 9:30 a.m.
The cause was sponsored by Leckie & Associates, Sobeys, and Real Canadian Superstore, in partnership with the Friendship Centre.
The Breakfast Day with United Way, as it was billed, followed a flag raising at City Hall last week to proclaim October as United Way month.
The month is also an opportunity to create awareness of what the United Way does, and why they need charity dollars.
“I don’t know that the awareness is there that we actually contribute and build in our community through the 13 members agencies,” said Loewen.
Funds raised by United Way in turn fund needy agencies such as the Libbie Young Centre, Bea Fisher, Midwest Family Connections, Lloydminster Sexual Assault and Information Centre, and the Lloydminster chapter of the Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada.
“Money for MS goes directly for transportation of MS clients who depend on that,” said Loewen as an example.
“If they don’t have that money, how do they get to the doctor?”
Last year, United Way was only able to give away $85,000 to its member agencies, compared to $215,000 in 2015 when the economy was stronger.
“Lots of our corporate donations have ceased,” said Loewen.
“People just aren’t in a position that they can contribute.”
United Way is also hoping to raise $85,000 during this fiscal year ending April 30, 2018, but Loewen is not sure they can do that as the economy has yet to rebound.
“We’re hoping, but we’re not doing as well as what we did the year before,” said Loewen, who noted she is the only paid employee logging just 75 hours a month of work.
“The only monies we keep are for my salary and office expenses,” she said.
United Way month will also mark the return of the United Way Treasure Chest fundraiser on Oct. 19, geared towards school children.
“It teaches the children how to support and share in their community, and how to build in their community through the collection of the loose coins,” said Loewen.
Children are encouraged to collect loose change and bring it to their school with a new challenge incentive this year.
The grade that donates the highest amount over $500 will be treated to a pizza party courtesy of TJ’s Pizza.
The resulting “treasure” will be distributed among 13 United Way member non profits.
CIBC is partnering with United Way to accept the change from 10 a.m. to noon the day of the campaign.
Bank employees and United Way volunteers will take a couple of days to roll the coins prior to distributing the funds.
Donations will also help Catholic Social Services, Lloydminster & Area Brain Injury, Canadian National Institute for the Blind and Inclusion Lloydminster.
Other benefiting agencies are Spinal Cord Injury Alberta, Lloydminster Rescue Squad, Lloydminster Native Friendship Centre and Lloydminster Interval Home/Community Youth Centre.