Laurier, UW raise funds for local organization

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(Graphic by Steph Truong)

Local university students have been working to raise money as part of the United Way Campaign, which has a goal of raising $5 million in total for Kitchener-Waterloo. Both Wilfrid Laurier University (WLU) and the University of Waterloo (UW) have been involved in fundraising efforts.

United Way is an organization which aims to strengthen community and improve overall quality of life, focusing on three areas: all that kids can be, healthy people, strong communities and from poverty to possibility.

“We have a workplace campaign we kicked off the second week of October. It goes up until the 31st but we accept pledges beyond that timeframe,” explained Jennifer Casey, the director of university relations at WLU.

“Laurier’s got a long history of doing this,” she said. “So we’re hoping we get a good response from the internal community.”

Casey explained that this includes staff, faculty and students.

On particular initiatives that have been taken, she said, “There’s actually a United Way Student Campus Club that’s been very active. So they have set up in the concourse for a number of days, and they were involved in the CN Tower climb.”

This initiative, to climb the CN tower, is being undertaken again this year after the success the club had last year.

The UW campaign is currently underway and is set to wrap up at the same as the Laurier Campaign. Increasing from previous campaigns, this year’s fundraising campaign set a high monetary goal of $230, 000 dollars.

“The United Way is an organization that supports a whole range of organizations in the community. So the reason that the United Way is a good idea is they do a lot of research in the KW area community to find out: What are the holes, what are the gaps, and what are the needs?” explained campaign co-chair, Richard Wells, of UW.

“We bumped up our goal $40,000 this year, and I think we’re pretty well set to make it,” he commented.     “I’m pretty impressed by United Way as a funding organization.”

WLU’s contribution does not end in Waterloo. Casey went on to explain that there is also a United Way drive at the Brantford Campus to raise money for their local area.

The different campaigns have different priorities and different monetary targets. Laurier’s target on campus was to increase participation rates.

“We wanted to get as many people pledging and trying to be part of the change in the community,” said Casey.

“We found that the participation rate has started to decline in the last couple of years. So, we thought we have to get awareness out, so that students, staff and faculty new to the university understand our relationship with the community and the impact we have on the local community, and how we can make a difference.”

She added that beyond financial contributions, there are many ways people can contribute to causes like this. Said Casey, “There’s a huge value to be placed on volunteering as well as monetary donations.”

“I think every little bit helps,” she concluded.

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