United Way focusing on youth

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July 7, 2015 8:15 AM

Lloydminster and District United Way held its annual general meeting on Thursday, June 25, at the Royal Hotel, where the organization recapped the past year and looked ahead to the next.

“I am very proud to say we raised $221,485,” campaign chair Arshi Mirza said in her campaign report. “Not a record-breaking year like last year was, but we have surpassed our goal.”

United Way Lloydminster raises and distributes funds to 14 local agencies, each of which share United Way Canada’s focus on youth. Across Canada, the United Way movement has a vision for three focus areas: All That Kids Can Be, From Poverty to Possibility and Healthy People, Strong Communities.

In the 2014 fiscal year, United Way Lloydminster donated $210,000 to its member agencies, plus another $530 to other charities.

At the meeting, the organization set its fundraising goal for 2015 at $220,000. That figure falls in line with the organization’s 2014 fundraising results, but president Colleen Fulton says it’s well short of what its associations ask for.

“We raised $221,000 and our requests for funding were almost $400,000,” she said. “Each of our agencies requests funding for one program and it’s almost double what we raise.”

Aside from the $220,000 target, Fulton says that United Way Lloydminster doesn’t have “specific” goals for the year ahead but will continue to promote its three focus areas that emphasize youth.

United Way Lloydminster also noted that it is looking to expand its board. Only eight out of a possible 13 seats on the board are occupied, and Fulton says that more board members would increase productivity.

“We’re a working board so we’re very busy,” she said. “All the extra hands we can have just means that we can do more.”

Meanwhile, Fulton says she isn’t worried that some people may question the integrity of large charities, like United Way for instance, after a scandalous report questioning the American Red Cross’s work in rebuilding Haiti surfaced earlier this year.

“Within Lloydminster, we try to make (our intentions) very clear and part of that is why we invite all of our donors to our annual general meeting,” she said. “We want them to see how we’re spending their money. We have that open policy where if you want to know which program got how much funding and what we’re all about and what we’re doing, we are very open to questions.”

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