16 Jan What We Do. Who We Are.
If you asked us exactly what we do, it can be hard to pin down in a few sentences, because we do a lot!
We help a lot of people. Our mission is to bring people and resources together to build strong, healthy, and safe communities for all.
To do this, we partner with dozens of local independent agencies to ensure that they have the resources they need to keep doing great work. Organizations like:
- Youth Haven Barrie
- The Elizabeth Fry Society
- Big Brothers/ Big Sisters
- John Howard Society
We concentrate on raising the funds, so our partner agencies can concentrate on providing the vital services to the community.
People are curious about what we do and how it all works. There may be some confusion and some a lack of understanding. United Way Simcoe Muskoka is always open and transparent. Let us clear up some of the things we hear from people most often.
“Do My Donations Stay Local?”
Absolutely. With United Ways all over the world, some people think donations may be pooled with the larger organization. That’s simply not true. Every donation that is made locally, stays right here to help local charities, help local people. We work hard to identify the pressing issues in our community and direct funds where they can have the greatest impact.
We are 100% locally-focused. All the money that comes from this community stays in this community. Our donors wouldn’t have it any other way, and neither would we.
“Too Much of My Donation is used for Administration”
Nobody wants to see their generous donation diminished by administrative costs, before reaching the people who need it.
At United Way Simcoe Muskoka, we don’t want to see this happen either. That’s why we are focused on running as “lean” as possible. We scrutinize every expense and make efficient use of every dollar.
Not only that, in recent years, we’ve gone even further. United Way Simcoe Muskoka has established social enterprises, including the operation of a call centre for LEAP (Low Income Energy Assistance Program). This enterprise generates significant revenue to offset our administrative costs. We encourage anyone with an interest in the role to apply including those that have faced barriers to employment.
You can be confident in knowing that our decades of experience means we know how to get the very most from every dollar. That means doing everything from making sure volunteers are well utilized, and leveraging relationships with businesses and organizations in the community to always do more and do better.
“I’m Better off Giving Directly to a Given Charity”
We certainly would never try to talk you out of donating to any charity. We’re all in this together to make the community better and stronger. And we applaud anyone who’s willing to do their part.
However, just consider the following. It’s much like the option of giving someone a fish versus teaching them to fish.
Let’s say you gave $100.00 to a Food Bank, or even directly to a family in need. That would be great and they could use that money to fill their cupboards with food for the week.
But, let’s say that money went to United Way Simcoe Muskoka. Because of our partnerships and programs, that family can get food, AND access to nutritional programs.
They could also access programs that can help remove the barriers between them and employment. They could get the help and empowerment they need to get a job that pays for food to fill those cupboards for years to come. It’s a holistic approach to community building and improvement.
Do You Want to Know More?
We are always here to explain any of our programs, or to tell you how you can get involved.
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