THUNDER BAY -- With just more than four weeks left in the 2012 United Way campaign, organizers are anticipating a $95,000 shortfall.
As employee campaigns are drawing to a close, campaign chairwoman Carol Busch attributes the pending shortfall to workplace downsizing, economic conditions and donor fatigue.
But they haven’t given up hope.
“I’d like to urge our community to step forward,” said Busch. “I know we can make this goal if we have the assistance of the community.”
The United Way of Thunder Bay set a $2,602,012 goal this September and Busch said they have held various events and launched numerous employee campaigns to raise the money.
The organization funds 67 programs run by 28 local agencies.
If the goal isn’t met, the shortfall will result in less funding for some programs or possibly the elimination of some programs.
While Busch said they haven’t analyzed the impact of flood relief on the United Way campaign, it is being felt by the Christmas Cheer campaign.
While Christmas Cheer doesn’t officially launch until Friday, chairwoman Linda Gambee said the May 28 flood has already caused the demand for Christmas Cheer to rise this year.
“Those phone calls have already started,” she said, adding it’s a difficult decision for some people to choose on what to spend the little money they have.
“Do we spend money on rent? Do we give the kids a Christmas? That’s a really tough choice most people don’t have to make at Christmastime,” she said.
With so many charities asking for donations at Christmastime, the addition of the Disaster Relief Fund does have Gambee worried, but not just for how it will impact Christmas Cheer.
“I’m concerned for all of us because there are so many people in need not only for food that we give at Christmastime but for the flood victims. There are so many there still struggling just to get off the ground, to get things back in their homes,” she said.
Christmas Cheer is working with a shortfall of $27,000 from last year, but has already been working bingos for the last several months and has a two-bit auction scheduled for this Thursday evening at the CLE Heritage building.
And like Busch, Gambee also has faith in the community of Thunder Bay.
“We say it every year that we have an amazing community. They just seem to give from their heart,” she said. “I think we’ll do fine.”
The Salvation Army’s Major Mervyn Halvorsen also isn’t worried about meeting their $160,000 goal for this season’s Christmas Kettle campaign.
While they are $6,800 behind from this time last year, the Salvation Army is more concerned about their volunteer numbers.
There are times when some kettles have no one posted at them.
Click here to report a typo or error
You must log in to add comments.
Create a new account
Remember me next time.