United Way, in trouble, calls for “emergency” fundraising

The United Way of Elgin-St. Thomas, before the official end of its current annual campaign, is already planning an emergency fundraiser to fill a shortfall in its $600,000 goal for this year.

And, President James Todd says, how the United Way, which funds 16 local agencies, operates in future will have to be restructured in some way.

The local United Way, at its height, raised $1.2-million a year but, in recent years and economic hard times, that has fallen to the current $600,000 goal.

He wouldn’t say just how short the campaign would be this year, but it would be enough so to warrant the emergency campaign to follow, starting March 5 for 60 days.

He also wouldn’t release the goal for the “Reimagine” campaign, which will be headed by Serge Lavoie of St. Thomas.

Mr. Todd said the United Way had already restructured and found efficiencies in recent years, but the continuing decline in donations made carrying on as it has impossible.

Part of the emergency campaign would include consulting the public on the future direction of United Way, he said.

The details of how much was raised in the regular campaign, and the goal of the emergency effort, will be announced at an event at the CASO station in St. Thomas on Thursday, March 5, at 4 p.m.



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