HALTON & HAMILTON – In a shift to community recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, United Way Halton & Hamilton (UWHH) has launched its 2021-22 fundraising campaign, aiming to raise $10.8 million to support the network of essential social services across community.
Over the past eighteen months, COVID-19 has exacerbated already pressing issues for individuals, families and neighbourhoods experiencing inequities like poverty, homelessness and social isolation. Their needs, along with the challenges of those pushed into crisis for the first time, require attention now more than ever.
Last year, UWHH was able to support 310,296 people across Burlington, Halton Hills, Hamilton, Milton and Oakville, through 266 community programs. As we move towards recovery, United Way’s work in ensuring people have access to the help they deserve has never been more important.
“It is hard to believe we have been going through the COVID-19 pandemic since March 2020. COVID-19 has pushed so many of our neighbours into crisis,” says Brad Park, President and CEO of United Way Halton & Hamilton. “Your United Way has set an ambitious goal for this campaign season as we work to support the most vulnerable in community. We’re joining together over the course of this campaign as we ignite an equitable recovery.”
Community is slowly beginning to open up, and vaccines provide tremendous hope when it comes to stemming the tide of COVID-19. However, the work to address deepening poverty – and the pressing issues at the root of it—is not a quick fix.
At least a third of food and service charities have seen demand grow faster than their organizational capacity. With the support of gracious community donors, UWHH is ready to continue leading this work at a critical moment for our community.
“As we move into recovery, our goal is to ensure that the community’s social safety net is there to help, not only in times of crisis, but far into the future as we continue to rebuild,” says Park. “This means calling on our partners and supporters to help community reach its fullest potential.”
At the beginning of the pandemic, the federal government relied on UWHH to distribute COVID-19 emergency funding quickly and with the deepest impact. In a time of great need, United Way was able to convene local governments and frontline agencies to deliver essential services.
Since then, UWHH has invested $4.1 million in rapid response emergency funding to local agencies to ensure they have the resources to meet the rising need.
The social and economic impacts of COVID-19 have transformed every aspect of our community, and hundreds of thousands have come to rely on community programs and services to get the help they need. To build an equitable recovery for all, we need community to stand together to address the needs of the people and places too often left behind.
“We’re looking forward to standing shoulder to shoulder with community as we move toward recovery,” said campaign chair Anna Iacobelli. “Last year, gracious United Way supporters and partners rallied together as so many were plunged into crisis. Together, we were able to meet our target goal. Whether you are a long-standing supporter or considering giving for the first time, we hope you will stand united with us this year to help rebuild lives.”
United Way Halton & Hamilton kicks off the $10.8 million campaign in style with its signature event, Walk this Way, starting on September 24,2021.
Teams are encouraged walk, hike, bike or stroll 266 minutes in support of the 266 United Way-supported programs in community. The goal is to raise $50,000 with the walk.