The 2021 United Way Brandon & District annual campaign kicked off today, and this year’s focus brings light to key areas that desperately need attention. In the times of the current pandemic, social agencies and services are being pushed to their brinks, and it’s not uncommon for users to be placed onto a ‘waiting’ list for help. The support that Brandon brings forward over the next few months will have a direct impact on the social and mental wellbeing right here in Westman, and the group is ready and eager to get working on things.
“We know that the past 19 months have been a challenge for so many – both businesses and their employees,” says United Way Brandon & District CEO, Cynamon Mychasiw. Much of this year’s concentration will be around many unignorable issues in Westman, such as seniors isolation, mental health and survival in a time that is so hard for so many people. Though the campaign will concentrate greatly on reaching a financial goal, there will be plenty of opportunities to give back to the community in ways of volunteering. “The United Way is so much more than collecting and distributing funding,” says marketing executive Bryan Podworny. “There’s lots we can do to volunteer time and skills that can take a big weight off non-profits that are struggling to get through a regular day.”
At the annual kickoff held at Riverbank Discovery Centre Festival Park, attendees got to hear from this year’s campaign chair in person for the first time. “Small steps – Small donations, small amounts of time – lead to big change in our community. It’s not about what you can accomplish or solve on your own but what impact we have together. Join me in supporting this year’s campaign – acknowledge hard things exist and help build the support systems that we need to make a difference.” said Jennifer McMillan, co-owner of Rocked Community Fitness.
Also happening this week will be a concentration on Westman’s community of seniors and the unignorable impacts of the last year and a half. The United Way brings the universal tool of music to personal care homes, filling the air with fun, upbeat sounds and messages from the community to lift spirits and bring smiles to those that are all too often left alone.
A Bare Necessities drive takes place on Wednesday collecting socks and underwear for all ages, as well as diapers, formula, tampons, pads, shampoo, soap, toothbrushes, toothpaste and other personal hygiene items. It will all be sorted and distributed to services in Brandon the following week.
In an effort to show that the United Way is more than just a fund raising agency, they will be grouping volunteers with non-profit agencies throughout Brandon to see their projects completed on Thursday September 16th. These projects include everything from clean ups to painting to organizing and even construction. Non-profit groups that needs help and volunteers that would like to participate are urged to contact the United Way.
For more information and other United Way Brandon & District news, please contact their office at 204-571-8929. Emails can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.