United Way looks for donations to help those in need as winter approaches


The CEO of United Way/Centraide Windsor-Essex County says with the winter months approaching, now is a great time to donate to those in need. 

Lorraine Goddard says that over the last year there has been incredible demand for things such as food, and other resources like children's backpacks for back to school, as the cost of living and inflation increases. 

She says the community is struggling, and programs at United Way such as the Summer Eats for Kids, which provides children and families food over the summer months, saw a 60 percent increase in families in need of support of weekly food boxes. 

Currently United Way is in their workplace campaign, where companies will ask employees if they are able to donate. 

Goddard adds that she's optimistic for 2024 with the completion of the NextStar electric vehicle battery plant, as she hopes that will help those in the community who are in need of a stable, well-paying job. 

She says families are struggling.

"With inflation, with new interest rates as people have to renew their mortgages, and things like that. The community, some folks are really struggling, and so as the winter months start and heating bills come in, I guess we're anticipating that the need isn't going to lessen, it will probably get more."

She says they want to help as many vulnerable people as possible.

"We are hoping that we have a successful workplace campaign because all of the dollars raised in this community support people in this community. It goes no where else. And we certainly want to position ourselves to be able to help as many vulnerable people as we can in this community."

Goddard says she's optimistic for 2024. 

"I'm really hopeful that we are going to get over this hump. I hope interest rates start to drop, inflation continues to settle down, and people get a chance at some of these great paying jobs."

United Way has been in the Windsor-Essex community for 75 years, and focus on children who are growing up in poverty to help give them a new opportunity and break the "cycle" of poverty.

They work to ensure children are successful in school, ensuring the families they grow up in have the support they need whether it be in terms of food, mental health services, and other supports. 

To donate and more information on United Way initiatives can be found by clicking here.