Sept. 27, 2019
Windsor, ON – United Way/Centraide Windsor-Essex County donors and workplace champions showed their ‘local love’ at a rally and theatrical presentation at Caesars Windsor on Friday to kick off the non-profit powerhouse’s annual fundraising efforts.
Windsor-Essex County has the highest rate of childhood poverty in the country – a staggering and truly #UNIGNORABLE issue. As United Way embarks on a new Cradle to Career strategy, it is aiming to make its Kick Off events just as #UNIGNORABLE as the local issues it seeks to raise awareness of in the region. This bold new strategy means United Way, led by its Board of Directors, will work differently to support children from the time they’re born until they start their career, with the goal of reducing childhood poverty in Windsor and Essex County.
“We love where we live, but local issues like childhood poverty are harming our local community,” says United Way Board Chair Matt Brannagan. “Together, with our generous donors, sponsors and volunteers, we’re making this local issue #UNIGNORABLE.”
Guests were led through an interactive installation including theatrical lighting and staging, where presenters helped participants understand the emotions and the situations people living in low income face. To include the voices of youth in the Kick Off, Kat Moscone, a young local artist and spoken word poet from LaSalle also wrote a performance piece for the event to inspire people to take action on childhood poverty. Moscone’s performance will also be featured in this year’s United Way Campaign video and can be viewed on YouTube and the website.
In addition to the advocacy-through-art theme of the Kick Off, much of United Way’s marketing campaign features bold, ‘#UNIGNORABLE’ art prints from renowned Canadian artist Malika Favre and a collaboration with Pantone to create an #UNIGNORABLE colour. Champions also wore #UNIGNORABLE t-shirts at the event.
“Generosity powers United Way’s work in the community. It allows us to tackle complex, persistent and #UNIGNORABLE issues that are preventing far too many people and families from getting ahead,” says Lorraine Goddard, United Way’s CEO. “When you give back to the community through United Way, you’re supporting important pathways to success for children and youth, so that everyone can thrive.”
In spring 2020, United Way will shift the focus of its investments to youth and families in West Windsor, Downtown Windsor and Leamington to tackle the root causes of poverty in Windsor-Essex County.
This year’s fundraising efforts are championed by Lead Organization Reliance Home Comfort, with long-time supporter and Operations Manager Lynda Pizzolitto heading the United Way Campaign Cabinet.
“United Way means being part of something bigger than you. It means being inspired, bold and determined to solve a community problem,” says Pizzolitto. “We see the impacts of poverty every day in the community and Reliance Home Comfort want to be a part of the solution.”
The County Kick Off takes place on Thursday, October 3 at Leamington District Secondary School where students will be involved in the interactive installation. Tickets are available at www.weareunited.com/CountyKickoff.
Thank you to our generous sponsors:
Posters Featuring Canadian artist Malika Favre: