Still time to support United Way

Jan 7 • Feature Story, LifeNo Comments on Still time to support United Way

(Melissa Doyle/Special to The Voice)
Zara Belanger-Pepper, middle is seen with the staff and volunteers from TekSavvy and Leon’s who recently created a waiting room for the VON Kids’ Circle program inside the Chatham-Kent NonProfit Centre at 425 McNaughton Ave. W.

With about a week remaining in the annual United Way of Chatham-Kent (OWOCK) fundraising campaign, organizers report they are just a few percentage points away from their target of $1.5 million.

These are the funds that are reinvested back into the community to support programs throughout all of Chatham-Kent and invested into research to better address critical issues that officials said take patience and compassion to solve.

“We are still working hard along with our campaign chairs Advanced Realty and we have not given up hope that we can meet our goal again this year,” Tom Slager, director of donor engagement and communications, said in a release. “We are encouraging anyone who has not yet donated to please do so. There is still a few more days before our Jan. 15 deadline.

Each donation made to United Way creates an impact that can last a lifetime. It funds programs that help people when they need it most.

For example, when Zara Belanger-Pepper was eight, her whole world turned upside down with the death of her father. When a child is so young it is hard for them to express the words and emotions one feels when faced with a devastating loss.

By attending, the VON Kids’ Circle program that annually helps 200 children and teens, she was given the care, support and skills needed to get through difficult times.

Now, as a teenager, she is sharing her journey and supporting others in similar situations through volunteering her time and her writing.

Slager said there are many ways people can contribute.

“The campaign is still running, but nearing completion. You can make a donation easily and safely right from your computer or phone by going online,” he said. “We also are still receiving cash and cheque donations through the mail and in person at 425 McNaughton Ave West. There is still time for the public to help get us over the top.”

To donate, visit online at, stop by the office, call 519-354-0430, or mail in your donations.



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