Kamloops heroes kick off 2017 United Way campaign

By Adam Donnelly
September 21, 2017 - 11:04am Updated: September 21, 2017 - 12:37pm

KAMLOOPS — There are dozens of worthy non-profit organizations in our community, making sure those in need are taken care of. When it comes to donating to those organizations, choosing where to spread your dollars to can be a difficult decision. That’s where the United Way Thompson-Nicola-Cariboo comes into the equation, by taking funds raised and working with their funded partners to ensure the fundraising dollars go where they’re needed. Today, the United Way kicked off the final year of their three-year fundraising campaign - and after the summer of wildfires we’ve lived through, those funds are more needed than ever.

It was a room full of superheroes at the kickoff to the United Way’s 2017 fundraising campaign Thursday morning at the Coast Hotel and Conference Centre.

“This [event] is our rallying cry, it’s our pep rally,” United Way TNC Executive Director Danalee Baker explains, adding “Everyone leaves here with renewed energy, ready to tackle our community’s issues.”

2017 marks the final year of a three-year campaign, with the goal of raising $6.5 million dollars to help those in our community in need.

“What the United Way does is it takes a lot of the pressure off of the agencies, the funded partners that the United Way is then in turn able to fund,” Campaign Cabinet Chair Joshua Knaak says.

While a portion of the funds the United Way receives are raised at events throughout Kamloops, like the drive-thru breakfast held at Cascades Casino earlier in the summer; Knaak says it’s the grassroots campaigns many businesses take part in that allows the United Way TNC to help so many in the community.

“The amazing work gets done in the individual businesses,” Knaak says. “There are employee campaign managers who devote tremendous time and energy into getting this campaign started. Without them, we wouldn’t be anywhere, as far as the workplace campaigns go.”

In 2017, the United Way has already collected over $190,000 in the community. With two-thirds of their three-year campaign in the books, they’ve raised over 4.4 million of their $6.5 million goal.

Baker says with the summer we’ve had in the BC interior, it’s more important than ever to give back.

“We’ve had a number of big social issues, like the Opioid Crisis and the BC wildfires, so we’re kind of getting hit on both sides,” Baker says. “This is when Kamloops steps up, and people in our region have been even more generous then… in the past."

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