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United Way Peterborough campaign raises $1.735M for community agencies

Click to play video: 'United Way Peterborough and District wraps up 2018-2019 campaign' United Way Peterborough and District wraps up 2018-2019 campaign
The United Way of Peterborough and District 2018-2019 campaign raised $1,735,000. This year's theme was ""Local Love". – Mar 28, 2019

The United Way of Peterborough and District says the community showed plenty of “local love” as they unveiled  $1,735,000 for the 2018-19 campaign.

“All we need is love and you showed 100 per cent love, 100 per cent local love on this community trail this year,” said CEO Jim Russell during the campaign wrap-up at the Nexicom Studio at Showplace on Wednesdsay.

READ MORE: Trent University makes $114,000 donation to United Way Peterborough campaign

“And it is a love that is deep, that is committed — a love that is effervescent”

Campaign chair Megan Murphy, a filmmaker and radio host, was pleased with the effort, despite just missing the campaign goal of $1.85 million by $115,000 — approximately 94 per cent of its target.

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In November at the campaign’s midway mark, organizers thought they were on track to reach their goal following the 77th annual campaign launch in September.

All of the funds raised will support 46 community agencies and projects.

“One cabinet member said to me this week that because he lives in this community, and he draws a salary in this community, it’s his responsibility to give back,” said Murphy. “I love being in the company [of] people who think like this.”

WATCH: Giving season in full swing in Peterborough area (Dec. 2018)

Click to play video: 'Giving season in full swing in Peterborough area' Giving season in full swing in Peterborough area
Giving season in full swing in Peterborough area – Dec 19, 2018

Russell says a committee of volunteers with expertise around social issues helps decide how much money is allocated to each agency.

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“There are a number of issues we invest in — literacy is one; stopping violence against women,” he noted. “Certainly we are investing in homelessness, but that issue is deepening.”

Mentoring for youth and employment programs are also priority issues, Russell said.

READ MORE: Donation shortfall leads to funding cut by United Way Elgin Middlesex

Among the recipients is the YES Shelter for Youth and Families. Executive director Meagan Hennekam says support from the United Way is vital.

“Without the United Way, a lot of our critical services simply wouldn’t exist in our community,” she said.

“There would be hundreds of young people — including children who are apart of families who unfortunately experience homelessness — who wouldn’t receive the support that they need.”

Lesely Hamilton of the Trent Valley Literacy Association also praises the United Way’s support.

“We help people over the age of 19 that are struggling with literacy,” she said. “That could be math, reading, writing or just upgrading to go into school.”

Next week, Russell says, the United Way will announce the campaign chairperson for the 2019-20 campaign.

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