It was a moment of reflection for Norma MacDonald, Chair of the United Way North Perth Community Committee (UWNPCC).
When United Way Perth-Huron (UWPH) Executive Director Ryan Erb presented MacDonald with her Volunteer Spirit award at a UWNPCC meeting, it marked the culmination of countless hours of hard work by her, the committee, and the residents of North Perth. In the space of a little over two years, they managed to more than triple the amount raised for United Way’s efforts in North Perth to an astonishing $119,000.
“It’s extremely gratifying,” MacDonald said, “I’d like to thank all of the great committee members we have in North Perth. Their work in our community with our many supportive businesses and organizations make this award possible. It shows how much our communities can achieve when we understand the good work that United Way supports.”
The UWNPCC pilot program represents another way for United Way to open up a dialogue between the organization and the communities it serves.
Identifying youth mental health as a priority, the North Perth Committee began working with United Way Perth-Huron to introduce Crossing Bridges in Listowel. Already a success in Stratford, the Choices for Change-run program is dedicated to offering a safe place for youth to talk about issues surrounding mental health and substance abuse, find shelter and free food, as well as resources to help with living and employment skills. Once the need was identified and the program chosen, the North Perth Committee went about raising funds in the community.
Having now opened Crossing Bridges successfully, the UWNPCC has its sights set on their next big project – the creation of a Community Hub for North Perth. The Hub would be a focal point, bringing together multiple organizations under one roof to provide easily-accessible services to the citizens of communities in the area.
“This partnership has energized United Way’s efforts in North Perth,” says UWPH’s Ryan Erb, “We’re extremely proud to celebrate their success and we look forward to working with the committee on the Community Hub and beyond.”
The United Way North Perth Community Committee also represents another step in United Way’s efforts to change perceptions of the role it plays across Perth and Huron counties; a role that’s about more than providing money to supported partners and programs. United Way’s multi-faceted presence encompasses everything from incubating organizations as they move towards becoming self-sustaining charities to research and advocacy on important issues such as the living wage through the Social Research and Planning Council.
United Way Perth-Huron supports more than 40 organizations across Perth and Huron counties in a variety of capacities. To contribute to these beneficial services in your community contact United Way Perth-Huron at:
perthhuron.unitedway.ca │ 32 Erie Street, Stratford, N5A 2M4 │ 519-271-7730 / 1-877-818-8867.