Oakville residents rely on the United Way


Terry Kostiw collects money for Toonie Tuesday for the United Way of Oakville

Terry Kostiw collects money for Toonie Tuesday for the United Way of Oakville.

Sheridan College raises thousands of dollars every year for the United Way of Oakville to help Halton.

Last week, the United Way of Oakville kicked off its campaign at Sheridan College. The United Way raises funds supporting programs based in Halton with goals of building a better future.

For more than 25 years, Sheridan has raised funds for the United Way.

In 2014, the school raised $46,549 for the United Way, significantly less than previous years.

A total of $57,877 was raised in 2013, and $75,798 was raised in 2012.

“Reasoning for this may be because a downturn in the economy and a lack of student participation,” said Nancy Heath, a faculty administrator and United Way representative.

With funds from the United Way local agencies are able to offer 52 programs and 32 social services.

“It’s our contribution to the community, and our responsibility to give back,” said Heath.

The Oakville Distress Centre and The Women’s Health Centre are both organizations that Sheridan and the United Way support.

“Over 30,000 residents of Oakville access programs that our agencies deliver, and without the support of our donors and volunteers, these programs would not be available,” said Brad Park, CEO of United Way of Oakville.

It’s easy to forget that there are underlining issues in Halton. Aid is given to more than 26,000 Oakville residents who live in poverty, according to the United Way website.

“Keep in mind that a lot of Sheridan students may use these services,” said Heath.

Students make use of the food bank and the Canadian Mental Health Association.

Sheridan students can make a difference by participating in college fundraisers. It’s an opportunity for students to help other students.

“Sheridan College has been a long-standing partner of United Way and has played a large role in helping to strengthen that safety net,” said Park.

Toonie Tuesday was held this week where jars are located at booths set up around campuses and students donate toonies.

United Way booth open for donations throughout the week.

United Way booth open for donations throughout the week.

“If 15,000 students each donated a toonie, we would have collected $30,000,” said Terry Kostiw, a Criminology professor and United Way ambassador.

A spaghetti lunch is held on Nov. 19, at both Brampton’s Davis Campus, and Oakville’s Trafalgar Campus. For $5, students will receive a plate of spaghetti, with garlic bread and caesar salad, drink included.

“We find the spaghetti lunch being a great way for students to donate to their community,” said Kostiw.

The food is provided by Chartwell’s food services and is served by Sheridan faculty.

A silent auction is held and 100 per cent of the proceeds go toward the United Way of Oakville. The silent auction includes items from flying lessons, to dinner with Sheridan President Jeff Zabudsky in his home.

Auctions close Nov. 25 at noon. For more information visit sheridancollege.ca/unitedway