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LETTER: The pandemic has shown where the community needs help

'We need a radical recovery'
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This letter was sent to by Patricia Tersigni, 2021 Campaign Chair, United Way GWD to highlight the United Way current struggles in supporting those in need.

The United Way Guelph Wellington Dufferin has issued a red alert in our communities.

The COVID-19 pandemic is not over and while each day, many of us hope to finally return to normal, the needs in our community are at increasingly urgent levels. One in seven households struggle to put meals on the table for their families, calls for emergency mental health services continue to rise, and the effects of isolation on children and older adults continue to put many people in our community at risk.

We know the pre-pandemic “normal” was not good for everyone, nor the kind of normal we all deserve. Home was not and is still not safe for children and women suffering domestic abuse. Substance abuse continues to rise and with the effects of unemployment and inflation, more families are struggling to make ends meet.

We need a radical recovery.

I have the great privilege to serve our community as the Chair of the 2021 United Way campaign. For over 81 years, United Way has been meeting the needs of our community where the gaps are most acute. I’ve seen firsthand the incredible work the team of staff, volunteers, and funded agencies undertake to collaboratively and collectively solve pressing social issues day after day, week after week, year after year. This has been especially true during the pandemic. In 2021, requests from the community for funding from United Way has nearly doubled and reached an all-time high of over 4M dollars — funds we do not currently have to distribute.

With the holiday season upon us, I urge you to consider a gift to United Way - you can give through a workplace campaign, make a one-time donation, or become a monthly donor. If you’ve given before, please consider an increase within your means. If you’ve never given before, now is a perfect time to start. By giving to United Way during this holiday season, you support the Radical Recovery we desperately need. Your donations stay 100% local — and make a lasting impact on your neighbours, friends, and family right here in Guelph, Wellington and Dufferin. Please give: we cannot close the gap or recover without you.

Patricia Tersigni
2021 Campaign Chair, United Way GWD