On Wednesday, June 7 at the Galt Museum & Archives, United Way will celebrate the launch of its new Leadership Giving program, Leader of the Way, and officially welcome the first leaders.
“The Leaders we’re recognizing have the power to inspire and challenge others to stand with them and take our communities forward to a place where it’s possible for each and every person to reach their potential,” said United Way Executive Director Trudy Carrels.
Leader of the Way is intended for those committed to helping others with donations of $1,200 or more to United Way annually.
“These and future leaders, will be a foundation to a stable, consistent source of funding for United Way partner organizations. Those organizations provide critical community programming and are central to ensuring that at-risk people and families are well-supported.”
With rising concerns around child poverty and access to mental health supports, organizations in Lethbridge & South Western Alberta, including United Way are doing all they can to meet community needs.
“Requests for funds have increased over the past years,” said Carrels. “For every grant request we’re able to fill, there may be another that we cannot, or that we’re only able to provide partial funding for. Imagine what they could do if United Way were able to fully meet their need for program funding. This is the start of that stability.”
Each year, United Way provides grants to support a number of programs in the areas of poverty alleviation, building healthy families and inclusive communities, and positive child and youth development. Collectively, these programs help over 20,000 babies, children, youth, adults, seniors and families annually.
Despite the high level of need in the community, Carrels wants to stress that giving at the leadership level doesn’t need to feel burdensome.
“United Way has traditionally been about giving small amounts over time to make a big impact,” she said. “If we apply that here, it works out to $100 a month or approximately $23 a week over the course of the year. That can make a huge difference in someone’s life.”
In addition, Carrels explains that leadership donations can also be made as legacy gifts or in memory of loved ones to carry on a history of positively impacting the lives of others through many different organizations. Individuals, companies, families and other groups can all be recognized as Leaders.
Donors at the leadership level also see some perks, including the opportunity to fill vacancies on United Way’s Board of Directors and Allocations Committee, two of the groups responsible for deciding how United Way funding is distributed each year, visiting some of United Way’s partner agencies to see the impact of their gift and, of course, a tax receipt for the full value of the gift.
Those interested in learning more or joining United Way at the leadership level are requested to contact Carrels at 403-327-1700 or email ED@lethbridgeunitedway.ca .