Last Tuesday, United Way began their 2016 campaign at UTM with a plant sale and a BBQ, raising a total of $1,186 to help children in need.

This year’s staff and community co-chair for the United Way campaign, April Forbes, stated in an email to The Medium that approximately $724 was raised from plant sales, and the BBQ had accumulated over 200 students and raised $462. Both events raised a total of $1,186 for their $69,000 goal.

The plant sales were run by Marianne Kalich and Brenda Pitton, members of UTM’s greenhouse team.

The BBQ featured messages given by interim vice-president and principal Ulrich Krull, United Way representative, Raj Chandegra, and Wali Shah, a UTM alumnus and advocate for United Way. They each spoke about the difference a dollar can make in helping shape the lives of others.

According to Forbes, their goal is to reach donations by staff and faculty at UTM through payroll deductions and donations from students from events run by various departments and clubs.

“The second goal, but just as important, is to raise awareness and bring to light the fact that poverty does exist in the Peel Region,” stated Forbes. “It may be hidden, but it does exist, and as a leader in this community, UTM is trying to do its part to support this great organization in their efforts.”

“The very child who may be helped by United Way today could turn around and become a UTM student tomorrow, [and we want] to help them get there,” Forbes said.

The campaign will run until December 31, holding many different events including the Great Pumpkin Carving and Costume Contest, an Early Years Centre Art Sale, and a Bowl-A-Thon.