United Way campaign reaches far

The United Way Central and Northern Vancouver Island's Change Starts Here fundraising campaign can have a big impact in Ladysmith.

Change Starts Here.

It’s the name of United Way Central and Northern Vancouver Island (UWCNVI)’s annual fundraising campaign, and in this case, it may start in Nanaimo, where the organization is based, but the change reaches so much farther.

It’s easy to think that an organization like UWCNVI is Nanaimo-focused, but when you look at the organizations it supports, you realize just how far-reaching it is — and how much our community depends on this group.

This year, donations to the Change Starts Here campaign will fund 22 local organizations, including many right in Ladysmith or based outside of Ladysmith that support local families. These including Ladysmith Family and Friends, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Vancouver Island, Boys and Girls Club of Central Vancouver Island, Cowichan Valley Hospice Society, Haven Society and the Vancouver Island Crisis Society.

This year, the Change Starts Here campaign aims to raise $700,000 for critically-needed programs for children, youth and seniors in central Vancouver Island.

“There is no question that times are tough for many in our community, with an uncertain and shifting economy — high child poverty, the stresses on working poor families, struggles with mental health and addictions, domestic violence/bullying and the rise of the number of vulnerable seniors,” says Signy Madden, executive director of UWCNVI. “The good news is that there is a way to help. Lives are changed for the better, and people gain hope and learn skills to make a better life through United Way funding.”

UWCNVI has been investing in programs and services that help people to improve their lives and that strengthen the community since 1958. Last year, UWCNVI raised $986,000 across central and north Island communities and was able to make grants to 44 charities supporting 50 programs for children, youth and seniors.

It’s an incredibly worthy cause. Donations can be made online or by calling 250-729-7400.