United Way Campaign #UNIGNORABLE


Help make local issues #UNIGNORABLE

On November 23rd we kicked off General Motors’ 2020 United Way Campaign which is wrapping up this Friday, December 4. During this time, employees are invited to pledge donations through payroll deductions. In 2019, General Motors employees raised an astounding $287,000 through payroll deductions, a corporate donation and proceeds from events like our Show n’ Shine Car Show and our $500 Draws. In fact, GM St. Catharines is recognized for contributing 1/3 of all funds raised in the past 65 years for United Way Niagara – over $31.3 MILLION as of 2019 – and are the largest workplace campaign in the Niagara Region each year. This just goes to show how important our continued involvement with the community is.

If you have already made a gift, please accept our sincere thanks. You have helped to make a difference in the lives of over 120,000 people in Niagara this year!

There is no denying that COVID-19 has had a detrimental and lasting impact in Niagara. Unemployment has more than doubled and rising rates of poverty and social isolation are being seen across the region as a result. All of which are strongly associated with poor mental health. People in Niagara are hurting. In a recent study by the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, it was reported that one in four Canadians have been abusing substances such as alcohol, as a coping mechanism for the stress they are feeling as a result of this pandemic; an alarming trend which may haunt the future of some.

With an economic recession in our midst, widening inequalities and the emotional impact of physical distancing policies; mental health and wellbeing is suffering.  Investing in mental health enables individuals to regain hope for the future. It will also contribute to making our community healthier, economically productive, and socially cohesive. The main issues impacting Niagara today are domestic violence, social isolation, homelessness, poverty, food security and mental health. United Way Niagara helps address all of those issues right here in our own backyard!

2020 Campaign video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RRxn1MovN5g&feature=emb_logo

Please consider starting your donation through payroll deduction.

A gift of any amount can change the lives of the most vulnerable in our community. For example:

  • $1/week can provide 25 healthy school meals for children.
  • $2.50/week can provide crisis counselling to ten people in need.
  • $5/week can provide a family with the supplies and tools to grow and harvest their own healthy food for a year.
  • $10/week can provide emergency shelter and food for a family.

Something else to know is that you can designate where your donation goes by choosing from one of the agencies United Way Niagara supports (ex. Niagara Distress Centre, Meals on Wheels, Autism Ontario, West Niagara Palliative Care), or to a specific city/municipality within the Niagara Region (ex. Fort Erie). Simply write your choice on your payroll deduction form! Take a look at the 2020 Program info sheet –  https://www.unitedwayniagara.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/program-investments-2020.pdf

Thanks to the generosity of many match sponsors, United Way is offering three different gift matching programs to increase the impact of your gift. This means that your donation is matched for even more impact! The matches apply to new donors, existing donors as well as leadership donors.

Lastly – If you do start a new payroll deduction or increase your current donation you will automatically be entered to win one of several prizes including:

  • Google Nest Hub
  • Fitbit Versa
  • Bose Wireless Speaker
  • Nintendo Switch Lite
  • Samsung Galaxy Tablet
  • Air Fryer
  • Canadian Tire $100 gift card

If you don’t want to commit to payroll deduction you can also make a one-time cash or cheque donation. Cheques can be made out to “United Way Niagara” and returned to me, Samantha Hoodless or Jordan Besch. Donations of this kind will also be entered into the draw!

If you are interested in starting or increasing your payroll deduction, fill out the attached Charitable Donations Form and return to Jessica McCourt(union office), Samantha Hoodless, Jordan Besch or via email Jessica.mccourt@gm.com by Friday, December 4.

To learn more, please check out the attached info sheets, visit https://www.unitedwayniagara.org/ or contact me with any questions or concerns you may have!

Now, more than ever, your community needs you.


In solidarity,
Jessica McCourt

Women’s Advocate & Employment Equity Rep
Unifor Local 199 GM Unit
Office: 905-641-6559
Cell: 289-228-5967