KGH's United Way campaign ready to "blossom" again

News / General
By Matthew Manor

Chris Hammer likes to sum up the value of Kingston General Hospital's United Way campaign in just one word - impact.

"I think that's the best way to describe the importance of this campaign," says Hammer, this year's United Way Campaign Chair for KGH. "We have 85 different organizations and groups in the Kingston area that will benefit from donations. And because people can choose where they want their money to go, the results are always visible." The campaign kicked off this month on Monday, Sept. 24 and runs through Friday, Oct. 5. The first event was the traditional Apple Blossom pastry sale this past week. "It's always one of the most popular events, so it's a great way to start the campaign," says Hammer. "The biggest thing is participation, and getting as many people as possible to contribute to the campaign, no matter how small their donation." Hammer is being helped out on the campaign by Sherry Cameron, the CUPE 1974 loaned representative. Together, they are hoping to reach the ambitious goal of 15 per cent participation among employees. That would mean almost twice the employees donating from last year, when $43,100 was raised. Employees can make donations via one-time pledges, or can have a monthly donations debited directly from their paycheque. Other members of our KGH Community, who are not on payroll, are welcome to make a one-time pledge as well. "We know that those employees who have signed up in the past have rarely even noticed the couple of dollars going to the campaign each paycheque, and because you only sign up once, it's the easiest way to lend your support," says Hammer. And that support will go a long way in our community, as it serves groups like the Boys and Girls Club, Lunch by George, The Youth Diversion Program and many others. "This is about continuing our role as a partner in the community," says Shannon Graham, Vice President of People Services and Organizational Effectiveness. "We are serving patients every day within our hospital, and this is an opportunity for us to extend our contributions out into the whole of Kingston."