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United Way Greater Victoria achieves $6-million goal in tough economic climate

United Way Greater Victoria staff, volunteers and media partners celebrate exceeding the $6-million campaign fundraising goal for 2012. The campaign brought in $17,524 more than that. - Don Descoteau/News staff
United Way Greater Victoria staff, volunteers and media partners celebrate exceeding the $6-million campaign fundraising goal for 2012. The campaign brought in $17,524 more than that.
— image credit: Don Descoteau/News staff

Helped by a final push in the late stages, United Way Greater Victoria reached and exceeded its goal for the 2012 campaign, inching just over the $6-million mark.

Staff and volunteers dug deep in the waning days and weeks, "leaving no stone unturned," said United Way CEO Linda Hughes.

"It's getting more difficult all the time. People are getting cautious and worried about their money," she said at a modest reception Thursday at the Belfry Theatre.

But donations from individuals and companies continue to make a significant difference in the Capital Region.

Whether it was teaching inmates at William Head Penitentiary to read, thus opening a new door for them, or ensuring a 14-year-old new mother battling addictions had supports in place to keep she and her baby healthy, local programs funded by United Way made good use of donor dollars last year, Hughes said.

In all, 69 community agencies were helped in 2012. United Way staff have begun going over year-end reports from those organizations to find success stories and ultimately determine how best to let the public know of the work the agencies are doing.

"It's important that donors know, 'real change happens because you gave,'" Hughes said.

On the campaign trail, more than 480 workplaces participated in office fundraising efforts, including 33 new locations.

Those kind of numbers, not to mention the overall total, provide a real sense of optimism for staff and volunteers, Hughes said.

"It tells us that even though we came through a slow year, it's not acceptable to slow down. This means we can do some of the things we planned to do at the beginning of the year."

The three areas of focus for the 2012 campaign were children's wellness, ending poverty and building a strong and caring community. Moneys raised from the campaign will be distributed this year.

For more information, visit uwgv.ca.

editor@vicnews.com

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