United Way cancels ‘Day of Caring’ campaign kickoff

Day of Caring 2019, photo courtesy of Sarnia-Lambton United Way.

For the first time in 26 years, the Sarnia-Lambton United Way is not having a Day of Caring.

Executive Director Dave Brown said the annual tradition has been cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Brown said the event, planned for September 15, doubled as a great community service and the official campaign kick-off.

“We’re looking at holding what we would call ‘mini’ days of caring, with smaller workgroups on an as-needed basis,” said Brown. “We can’t really postpone the entire day of caring into the fall or winter months because a lot of the work that we do is outdoors, so we’re going to do it case-by-case in the fall and into 2021. Hopefully we can continue to do some good work that way.”

In 2019, over 240 volunteers from 29 local companies completed jobs at 50 locations for individuals and organizations in need, including painting, gardening, cleaning and minor construction work.

Brown said they’re very worried about the entire fall fundraising campaign because of the pandemic.

“We are still hopeful that the Enbridge United Way Car Show will still take place the second Saturday in September. If it does we will kind of rebrand that as our official United Way campaign kickoff for this year,” he said.

The 2019 campaign was challenging but eventually surpassed its goal, raising just over $1.9 million.