Castlegar United Way in danger of folding

United Way - File
United Way
— image credit: File

The United Way in Castlegar is struggling with members and as a result may have to fold.

"Our bylaw states that we need to have four board members to continue as a functioning non-profit society," said Nicole Beetstra, Castlegar United Way president. "Right now we're right on the border of four people and an administrator. If we lose another person we would have to fold. So we want to focus this year on recruitment of people. If we don't have enough people we can't do things like our quad raffle that have raised a lot of money to support the agencies in our area."

With the lack of members this year, the local United Way has had to cancel not only the popular quad raffle but also the annual Kick-Off Dinner and Dance and the Halloween for Kids event.

The local United Way helps organizations in Castlegar and the area. "We help other organizations in our communities," said Beetstra. "They submit to us and ask for grant applications. We help fund those programs. We've helped everyone from the CNIB (Canadian National Institute for the Blind), to less fortunate people get dental work. We've helped the food banks in our area. We've helped Freedom Quest, which helps high risk youth in the area."

Beetstra says to help raise money that they would've with their events, the United Way will focus on donations.

"We're going to be going into businesses and asking them to set up payroll deductions," she said. "Anything from $1 a pay cheque and up. It all adds up. Not only does it add up financially but in great rewards in our community. That's where our focus will be with a lack of members. We're going to try and go into businesses and talk to them about having their employees donate to us automatically as opposed to us doing big fundraisers."

All the money raised by Castlegar United Way stays in the community. If the local branch were to fold, all corporate donations would go to United Way of Canada.

Anyone interested in helping the Castlegar United Way can email or phone 250-2365-7331.


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