The fundraising total can be counted as one of the highest amounts Western has raised in the history of the university’s United Way campaign, despite continued challenges brought on by restrictions related to the COVID-19 pandemic, said Kim Miller, co-chair of the Western United Way Campaign and executive director, career management and corporate recruiting at Ivey Business School.
“Despite COVID, we have seen an increase in the number of unit or department presentations that we were able to do. Many of them were still virtual, but I think people were just more accustomed to doing business in online environments, so they were more open to having our sponsored employee come in and do a presentation,” she said.
Western is the largest non-corporate supporter of United Way Elgin Middlesex. Funds raised through the campaign are solely driven by contributions from employees and students, as well as retirees who make up a large portion of the total donations, Miller said.
Many employees give through payroll contributions, while others in the university community organize or participate in a variety of fundraising events and challenges.
“The community really stepped up again, even in spite of some challenges that they may be facing on their own,” said Miller. “The community continues to see the need in our local community and continue to support the United Way as they always have.”
Last year, the Western community raised more than $619,000 for United Way.
United Way Elgin Middlesex is the largest non-government funder of social services in Elgin and Middlesex counties and supports a network of 80 essential programs and services at 49 local agencies. More than 100,000 people in the community – or one in five – use a United Way program or service. One hundred per cent of donations to United Way Elgin Middlesex stay local.