Cowichan United Way takes first bites into $230K

United Way Cowichan tried a different way of reaching out to the community for its official campaign kickoff Saturday, Sept. 13, holding a special outdoor breakfast.

The result of the morning spent at Charles Hoey Park in Duncan was "inspiring," according to spokespeople for the group.

More than 200 supporters attended the outdoor festivities, raising just over $2,100 towards the 2014 campaign goal of $230,000.

"I was impressed and encouraged by the turn out," said United Way board President Mike Murphy. "Not only did we have a beautiful fall morning, we had so many of our friends, volunteers and supporters join in, including mayors [Phil] Kent and [Jon] Lefebure, and MP Jean Crowder, who helped drive home the importance of United Way in the community."

Heather Gardiner, interim advisor with United Way, was also in Duncan for the kickoff.

"I am very pleased with the results," she said, echoing Murphy. "Saturday marked the beginning of United Way’s campaign, a time when we get to invite everyone to become part of the solution.

"We know the need is urgent," Gardiner said. "Agencies have given us a very clear mandate for this campaign; we need to raise a significant amount of additional funds to help extend the availability of programs, services, and to reduce the potential loss of hope and possibility for our younger generation."

United Way Cowichan is hard at work developing strategies that address issues such as addictions, poverty, mental health challenges, domestic abuse and housing.

The campaign’s funds are invested in 46 local programs and services.

If you would like to know more about how United Way changes lives, or to become a donor in support of the community, visit www.cowichan.unitedway.ca or call 250-748-1312.