The United Way Fort McMurray Wood Buffalo kicked off it’s 2020 Community Campaign Thursday morning.
This year’s goal is $4 million, down from the $4.6 million raised last year.
In its third and final year of the local love theme, United Way Board President Jordanna Lambert said they’ve added the tagline now more than ever.
“Our economy has been hit, the flood happened, and many people are going through so much stress. If there was ever a time we needed the community’s help, it’s now.”
Lambert said that while it may be challenging to raise $4 million, the United Way is confident the community can pull together to reach that goal.
She explained that in March, when COVID-19 shutdowns started, the United Way Fort McMurray Wood Buffalo shifted its focus to their partner agencies to ensure vulnerable populations most affected by the circumstances had supports.
Funds raised by the federal government, which were invested through the United Way Fort McMurray, were sent to agencies to use for COVID-19 supports like increased outreach for seniors to combat social isolation.
There were also funds raised from individuals and organizations to help fund COVID-19 response initiatives like mental health supports for youth.
“Even when the pandemic is over, we do believe now more than ever that we will have those continued pressing social needs in our community.”
The United Way Fort McMurray supports 25 agencies and over 40 programs which are distributed into three focus areas.
Those three areas are moving people out of poverty, helping kids reach their potential, and ensuring our community and residents are strong, resilient, connected and supported.
This year’s Community Campaign will be supplemented with the return of the Red Menu Campaign, the Really Really Really Big One Day 50/50 on Sept. 24, and the introduction of the Really Really Really Big Christmas Draw which starts on Oct. 25.