Brant United Way is stepping up its campaign goal for 2012.
The volunteer-led organization announced its goal of raising $1,625,000 this year to help provide support to its 18 member agencies. The announcement was made during Rotary Club of Brantford meeting at the Brantford Golf and Country Club on Friday afternoon.
“This goal is a milestone for our community,” said 2012 campaign chair Grant Darling. “It is our biggest goal to date and will represent our largest achievement. This will result in bigger investment in our community.
“It will be a challenge, but together I know we can achieve it. Brantford and the County of Brant is a small, tight-knit community and I know that the hundreds of donors and volunteers will rally around us and we will be successful. Change starts here.”
This year has already been a successful one for Brant United Way. Its annual warehouse sale raised more money than ever before and the inaugural Hockey Night in Brantford sold out the Wayne Gretzky Sports Centre, brining in $70,000 for the organization.
“Community partners from all over seem to be stepping up to the plate to help United Way,” Darling said. “From small children selling lemonade to local athletes raising money for United Way by participating in world-renowned competitions, to our local police department’s emergency response team offering a select few donors the chance to walk in their shoes for a day, all for United Way.”
United Way funding goes a long way to help its member agencies provide valuable services to the community, said Debbie Brown of Crossing All Bridges, a member agency that provides continual learning opportunities for adults with developmental needs.
“It’s huge,” Brown said. “(United Way funding) allows us to spend time doing what we do instead of going out into the community to look for funding. It gives us the power to put our energy where it’s most needed.”
Crossing All Bridges receives no government funding. Thanks to United Way funding, the community program has been able to hire extra staff and increase its goals.
“Our young adults now have a full day of productive learning and time with their peers that they would never get from another program,” said Crossing All Bridges board member Stephanie Brown.
The United Way’s 2012 goal is up $100,000 from last year, but executive director Kristin Pass said raising the money is a challenge the organization is ready to meet in order to help the community.
“We know the need is great,” Pass said. “As great as the groups are doing there is always more need. Our goal is to invest in the community deeper than we have. It will be challenging, but we know we need to stretch if we want to continue to make positive change here.”