BY KASSANDRA FERNANDES
Sheridan College is partnering with United Way to host various events across all three campuses and online to support the 1 in 5 individuals in the community who use United Way services.
The 2016 campaign will run from Nov. 14 to early December.
“Oakville is a very affluent community and people assume that there is no need here, there is no poverty, there is no challenges. But when you look underneath what goes on in a community, people wouldn’t know that 14 per cent of Oakvillians live in poverty,” United Way Oakville CEO Brad Park says, “It’s important for us as individuals to realize what we may have a good life, there are others who need support.”
Meredith Burke, United Way staff representative stresses the importance of organizations like United Way. “A lot of people find themselves on a very different path than they intended, sometimes all they need is a little bit of a helping hand,” Burke says,”The support and care from one ofthe agencies United Way funds can get their life back on track to lead a life of possibility.” She urges communities to unite for a more connected society.
Sheridan College has teamed with United Way for more than 25 years. The partnership allows Sheridan to get involved and give back to the community in numerous ways.
“Sheridan looks at United Way as a good partnership to be involved with in the community because it is an opportunity to give back to many charities at once,” Park says, “When Sheridan chooses to partner with the United Way, they can fund 31 different agencies at the same time.” Those 31 agencies fund 52 programs that support various needs within the community.
United Way asked students in the Visual Merchandising Arts program to create windows that depicted the organization’s message while promoting the campaign’s events at Sheridan College. The windows were situated in the main B-Wing hallway.
Visual Merchandising Program X United Way collaboration
1. Pledging Nov. 14 – Dec. 15
Online Donations can be made through United Way’s secure online portal. Leaders of the Way who pledge $1,200 or more will be recognized during a ceremony at the end of the campaign. Sheridan College employees were sent a link via email on Nov. 14 that gives access to the United Way pledging portal. Students, or anyone who did not receive the email can download a PDF and print a paper pledge form. The completed form can be dropped off at the Sheridan Human Resources Department located at the Trafalgar campus.
2. Silent Auction Nov. 16 – Nov. 23
Sheridan students and faculty can participate in the Sheridan United Way Silent Auction. There, you can bid on various items such as: artwork, hockey tickets, Lenovo tablets and even a one-night stay at a Sheridan residence. Individuals in the Oakville community graciously donated each of the auction items.
3. $1 Samosas Nov. 14 @ 11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Samosas were sold at Trafalgar, Davis and HMC. All proceeds from this event were donated to United Way Oakville and United Way of Peel Region.
4. $5 Spaghetti Lunch Davis – Nov. 15 @ 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.
STC – Nov. 16 @ 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Trafalgar – Nov. 17 @ 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.
Student and faculty volunteers served a full spaghetti lunch including salad and garlic bread in the Marketplace. The lunch was supported by Chartwells and allowed the Sheridan community to exercise their benevolence by either serving spaghetti or purchasing a plate.
5. Loonie/Toonie OneCard Donation Nov. 14 – Nov. 20
OneCard holders can participate in the United Way campaign. Begin by loading your account online on the OneCard website. Then, you can donate $1, $2 or $5 to United Way online under the ‘purchase’ tab. You can also load your account and donate in-person at any OneCard office location.
In addition to participating in 1 of the 5 events listed above, United Way urged the Sheridan community to volunteer.
Student volunteer Shantel Clarke has plans for ways to help others in the future. “It’s just good to help people. It just makes you feel better, it makes other people feel better, it makes the world a better place…it brings hope for everyone,” Clarke says.
Helping the community does not stop at the spaghetti lunch for Clarke. She is ambitious to start a skills-development centre for youth in the future. “… a drop-in centre where they can come and do cooking and we can eat together as a family,” Clarke explains.
This campaign surely depicted the unity of our Sheridan community, coming together for a single cause. “Whether it’s students, staff, VPs, deans truly its great to see such a cross-section of everybody who is under this one roof come together to support the local Oakville community through this United Way campaign,” Burke says.
United Way Oakville strives to make the town a better place for everyone. In 2015 alone, the organization successfully improved the quality of life for countless individuals in need by providing access to services all over Oakville.