Martin and Kathryn Ritsma

Martin & Kathryn Ritsma Return as Campaign Co-chairs

United Way Perth-Huron (UWPH) is proud to announce Martin and Kathryn Ritsma have agreed to return as Campaign Co-chairs in 2020/2021.

 “We’re thrilled that Martin and Kathryn are coming back,” said UWPH Executive Director Ryan Erb. “They played a huge part in the success of the past two campaigns and we look forward to having their energy and enthusiasm as we work across Perth and Huron to navigate this challenging time.”

Now more than ever, giving to United Way’s annual campaign is critical. Over the past six months, people already living on less have faced new challenges due to COVID-19 and others who never needed a helping hand before suddenly found themselves in need of support. Through it all United Way Perth-Huron has been there, building on 60 years of working locally to make sure people get the help they need when they need it.

“UWPH has achieved so much over the past few months within Perth-Huron,” Martin and Kathryn noted. “Whether it’s helping fund organizations to meet changing needs during the pandemic or partnering with the federal government to support vulnerable seniors, UWPH has worked tirelessly to support our communities. But we can’t be complacent. More work needs to be done locally to navigate the challenging road ahead.”

An important part of the work UWPH is committed to building on involves the Urgent Needs Fund (UNF). The UNF is designed to support local residents in a time of crisis by helping with essentials like rent, groceries and medication; keeping those in need from slipping deeper into poverty, shame and despair. In the time since the fund originally launched earlier this year, over 500 people from across Perth and Huron have received assistance.

UWPH is also deepening connections across the regions, working with community committees in St. Marys, Goderich, Exeter and North Perth. The committee chairs; Rob and Lesley Edney in St. Marys, Jerry McDonnell in Goderich, Dave Reid and Heather MacKechnie in Exeter and Shelley Blackmore in North Perth are working together with UWPH to address local #UNIGNORABLE issues such as chronic homelessness and food security. This is in addition to projects UWPH is already involved with in Stratford and the rest of Perth and Huron.

“UWPH is committed to helping rebuild our communities in the wake of COVID-19 and supporting the vulnerable and newly vulnerable through existing programs funded by the annual campaign as well as the Urgent Needs Fund,” added Erb. “We’re looking forward to working again with Martin and Kathryn to build on what we’ve already achieved and help ensure a brighter future for everyone in our communities.”

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