According to the college’s United Way employee organizing committee, the participation of the member agencies provides students and employees with a tangible way to connect with the many individuals who benefit from the United Way.
The goal for this year’s fundraising campaign is $50,000.
Paula Saunders, director of access and awareness at the Independent Living Centre of Waterloo Region, explained that their agency benefits from the financial support of the United Way. Saunders said it is also important to connect with students and employees at Conestoga.
“Educating the students, having them come by and ask questions to learn more about the Independent Living Centre is important. I think everyone is going to deal with a disability at some point in their life, whether it’s parents or grandparents, fellow students or a neighbour next door, so it is good that the students can learn more about us.”
The organizing committee has planned a variety of employee events throughout the two-week campaign. One of the more popular events, Bingo for Baskets, gives employees the opportunity to play daily office bingo for the chance to win donated gift baskets.
Employees are also cooking chili for the chance to win the coveted Ladle of Distinction, a fun prize that gives the winner bragging rights until next year’s cooking contest.
Students will also have the opportunity to participate in events planned throughout the two-week campaign. Janina Robinson, a Student Life programmer, coordinates a committee of student volunteers who work to organize student events. Robinson explained that the students have different reasons for being involved in the campaign.
“The students on the committee are volunteering because they have interacted in some way with United Way-funded agencies in the past, want to ‘give back’ to their community, have an interest in working in the non-profit area in the future, or are looking for a way to develop their leadership while positively impacting the College and local community,” she said.
The Kitchener-Waterloo United Way is the community’s largest non-governmental funder of social service programs and serves as a catalyst for local social change. The organization also mobilizes staff, volunteers and other resources to achieve community impact and change community conditions for the better.
For more information, visit United Way KW