United Way Hastings & Prince Edward announced a record breaking fundraising year this morning, a combined total raised through the annual campaign and the COVID-19 Community Response Fund topped $2,121,000.  

In March of 2020, the organization launched the COVID-19 Community Response Fund to raise funds to support the increased pressures that the not for profit sector was experiencing as a result of the pandemic; that effort raised $162,734.  In September of 2020, United Way HPE then launched their annual fundraising drive; that effort raised $1,958,494 for a grand total raised of $2,121,228—a record breaking total raised by this community, over the course of one fundraising year.

“We launched our campaign this year without a goal for the first time in the history of our organization” said Brandi Hodge, Executive Director. “We didn’t know how the pandemic had impacted the capacity of the community to support a fundraising drive like this one. We just knew that we needed to raise as much as we possibly could, because this campaign was more important than ever before -  apparently our community knew it too”.

United Way HPE made the announcement virtually with the help of the 2020 Campaign Chair, Inspector Sheri Meeks of the Belleville Police Service and fellow members of the volunteer Campaign Cabinet along with Sandie Sidsworth, Executive Director of The Enrichment Centre for Mental Health and Steve van de Hoef, Program Manager of Bridge St United Church. Sidsworth and van de Hoef shared the impact that this unique year has had on the charitable sector and the people it serves, explaining the importance of United Way HPE, and the important role donors play in the long term health and wellbeing of the community.

“The unique circumstance this year, is that the United Way allocated federally provided funding to organizations in the community” said van de Hoef. “The importance of that though is that an organization like the United Way knows what the community needs”.  The funds that United Way HPE allocated on behalf of the federal government  are not included in the fundraised totals announced and were distributed almost immediately upon receipt to a broader cohort of community partners and agencies, including Bridge St United Church’s lunch program. The lunch program also received numerous in-kind contributions through the Covid-19 Community Response Fund and bears witness to the importance of collaboration and a strong , donor supported social service network within the community

“On behalf of the 2020 United Way Campaign Cabinet, I’d like to say a huge thank you for your generous support and donations this year which have helped to make it a huge success. Again, thank you, from the bottom of my heart” Inspector Sheri Meeks, United Way HPE Campaign Chair

“United Way funding provides the staffing.  That money insures that about 140 people move into a community [from UW funded transitional housing program] and become self-sufficient and sustainable” explained Sidsworth; the Enrichment Centre for Mental Health is a United Way funded program. She went on to thank United Way HPE donors, “Donors build capacity for creating change and not just within the programs that their money flows through this year, it’s the potential that donors give for that future growth, those future supports that are going to be needed. The donor isn’t  just for the dollar today, the donor is for the dollar tomorrow and that’s why the United Way is so important to our community.

27 community volunteers have completed the process of evaluating applications for funding from the not-for-profit sector locally and funding announcements will be made shortly; the 2020 campaign dollars will be put to good work by agencies across the Hastings Prince Edward region.

United Way Hastings & Prince Edward:  United Way Hastings & Prince Edward provides leadership in a collaborative manner with our Funded Agencies and others to increase the capacity of our community to respond to human services needs. We support 1 in 4 people in our local community through the 44 agencies and over 65 programs we support.