With summer now here staff and volunteers with United Way of South Niagara turn their attention to the fall, and the upcoming campaign.
Even though United Way of South Niagara accepts donations year-round and holds events outside of the traditional campaign time line, we do still carry out a focused campaign over the winter months, and our work now is to get ready for that campaign.
We talk about the campaign team, decide who we’d like to chair that team and ask them, or beg whichever the case may be, to take on that role.
We discuss last year’s events and make decisions on how to make them better and what new events we might like to try for the coming campaign.
We brainstorm about every aspect of the campaign and start the work needed to put all of our ideas into action for the coming campaign.
One of the big aspects of our campaign is always the campaign theme.
It’s more than a marketing tag line for our posters and advertisements. The theme is how we convey to the public what we do, why we do it, how we’re successful, and how this community benefits.
It tells the story of this community in honest, unpolished language and helps us see not only our problems but our possibilities. It connects the people of this community, tying together those who need help making a change in their lives with those who have the power to make change happen.
It’s a powerful message and one we take great care in choosing each year. We are still working on the theme for the upcoming campaign, but one of the main focuses of this year’s campaign will, of course, be our three priority areas.
Chosen a year ago to help the United Way of South Niagara focus its work and help agencies find real, sustainable solutions to the issues facing our community, the three focus areas are: from poverty to possibility; helping kids and families be all they can be; and healthy families healthy communities.
United Way of South Niagara has made a commitment to fund programs and services that not only help families in the short term but help families and individuals realize their potential, work toward a goal, and accomplish a change in their lives, for the long term.
We’re also committed to demonstrating, in a tangible way, how our work impacts the lives of people in this community.
Choosing Natasha Smagata as last year’s campaign chair, for example. Natasha was a teenage mom with two kids and no job. When her children’s father left she had little prospects. A United Way funded program, at Adolescent Family Support Services of Niagara, was Natasha’s first step. Now a full-time, and valued, employee of Niagara Region, Natasha is a true United Way success story.
Look for more success stories during the upcoming campaign and think about how you can impact those stories.
Watch for our kickoff event and other signature activities, look for volunteer opportunities and other ways you can help, and consider how you can impact this community and help be the change.
By Dolores Fabiano
Saturday, July 7, 2012