Carleton has a chance to change childrens’ lives.
Whether it’s giving them breakfast before school or enrolling them in an after-school program, this year’s Carleton United Way Campaign is determined to help give support to children across the city.
“We have one message — education,” says Chantal Dion, co-chair of this year’s campaign. “It makes so much sense that as a university institution, we support education.”
The campaign officially launches Wed., Oct. 21 with a “bring your own bowl” soup lunch in Fenn Lounge (Residence Commons). There will be entertainment, a major draw prize and the official campaign goal will be unveiled. The campaign runs until Nov. 13 and will include events like bake sales, yoga clinics, a walk-a-thon, a polar bear dip and a Giant 50/50 draw to help raise money.
“We have a team of senior volunteers who are planning specific events and these are just extraordinary,” adds Christine Marland, the campaign’s co-chair. “We have about 19 volunteers that are totally committed and totally engaged in co-ordinating these events.” As well, there are more than 100 office representatives across campus who will also play a critical role in promoting the campaign and the various events.
Although donors can designate their money to go to the area of their choice, Marland says she hopes that people will consider targeting their donation to one of the 20 United Way organizations — under the “Children and Youth” section of the United Way pledge form — that provide education-related services like breakfast, after-school and homework programs which specifically help underprivileged children.
“These children and youth are the next university students,” says Marland. “When we’re helping those who are disadvantaged, we’re making Ottawa a better place to live. We have the resources at Carleton to make a difference.”
According to the United Way/Centraide Ottawa, one in five children in Ottawa lives below the poverty line, and one in three people in Ottawa will use a United Way service at some point in their lives.
With these alarming statistics, even a small donation makes a difference, Dion adds.
“Personally, I get emotional when I think about children not having breakfast before coming to school,” she says. “This is a direct way to make a difference as a community.”
Dion adds that this year’s campaign is bringing a sense of community to campus since it involves everyone on campus — students, staff and faculty.
The United Way campaign committee has been busy preparing for the October 21 kick-off and the campaign website is up and running.
The volunteer response has been phenomenal.
“People are ready to make a difference,” Dion says. “People are organized, people are ready to step up and do whatever it takes to support it and raise money.”
To make a pledge and to find out more about this campaign’s events, visit: http://carleton.ca/unitedway.