Municipal candidates and local business owners partake in a tour by the United Way of Chatham-Kent to see what they do around the community and meet the people they help. September 26, 2018. (Photo courtesy of United Way of Chatham-Kent Facebook page)

United Way tour shows what a donation dollar can do

Municipal candidates and business owners had a chance to tour the community to see all the good the United Way is doing.

The tour ran from 9 a.m. Wednesday to noon and made stops at Women’s Centre and New Beginnings ABI and Stroke Recovery Association., just to name a few.

Tom Slager, director of resource and development with United Way Chatham-Kent, said the turnout for the tour was great with about 24 people signed up.

“About half of them were candidates too,” Slager said. “We got to see the people who do the work for this community and we all got to meet some of the people who receive the assistance. A lot of the candidates got to meet some of the people and see some of the issues people will be affected by something of the decisions they are going to have to make.”

Slager added the businesses on the tour got to see where their donations were going and how they help the community. He said the tour is called “Seeing is Believing” for that very reason.

“When you try to tell people what you do, it sort of makes sense,” Slager said. “When you walk in the door and hear from someone who is working with these people or hear someone that says ‘these people are helping me, here is my story,’ it makes sense of what a donation dollar does in the community.”

Slager said there was nearly $1 million in volunteer economic value between the United Way and the Student Nutrition Program. He added without the support of those who give to charity, the burden of funding those programs would fall onto the municipality.

“So right there we are pretty much saving people tax money by being in existence and that’s part of the what the message I wanted to give today was,” Slager said. “We all need to work together because we make your job easier too.”

Slager said there will be another tour in October and those interested can contact the United Way.