New Regional United Way Takes Shape - Sudbury
Today, United Way Centraide Sudbury and/et Nipissing Districts announced that it will expand its territory to include the Cochrane and Timiskaming districts effective April 1, 2017. This decision was made jointly between United Way Centraide Sudbury and/et Nipissing Districts and United Way Cochrane-Timiskaming to ensure a sustainable presence and achieve greater impact within the community. The change will transform United Way Centraide Sudbury and/et Nipissing Districts into a regional organization serving a vast geographic area encompassing the districts of Cochrane, Greater Sudbury, Nipissing, Parry Sound, SudburyManitoulin, and Timiskaming. This regional transformation will not change United Way’s local commitment to ensure that money raised locally stays local.
Executive Director of United Way Centraide Sudbury and/et Nipissing Districts, Michael Cullen, discussed the shared vision and mandate of the two long-standing United Ways as the foundation for this decision. He asserted that both organizations support the same community priorities and are committed to improving lives locally: “We will continue building on the principles people value most about United Way by working to ensure that children and youth get the best start in life, to ease the burden for struggling families, and to create opportunities for those who need a job, a meal or simply a chance for a fresh start.”
Jean Warren, Executive Director of United Way Cochrane-Timiskaming, said the local board had been discussing this possibility since last June. The move towards United Ways working more formally together is “something that is happening right across the country, especially with smaller United Ways but even with larger ones,” explained Warren.
United Way will be working closely with stakeholders to develop goals for the new region that will address community needs at a local level. A reduction in operating costs and streamlining of internal processes will also result in more funds available to support local programs and services. Additionally, individuals and families living in the Cochrane-Timiskaming districts will benefit from current United Way programs such as the 211 social service helpline and website that provides information on and referrals to Ontario’s community, social, health-related and government services quickly and easily, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
“The people of Sudbury have a history of generosity,” said Catherine Matheson, General Manager, Community Development of the City of Greater Sudbury. "The regional approach to the United Way is a great example of the integration of strategic thinking and preservation of the community uniqueness and priorities. Congratulations to the United Way for moving forward with the interest of the citizens in local areas and for approaching the design of the United Way within a Northeastern Ontario framework of strength."
Ashley Thomson, President of the United Way Centraide Sudbury and/et Nipissing Districts’ Board of Directors stated, “Moving forward, we will operate as a regional organization and maintain a strong local presence in the communities we serve. We understand how important local support is to our donors, stakeholders and partner agencies, and regionalizing our efforts will not affect this process; we will ensure that monies raised within Sudbury and Nipissing as well as the Cochrane-Timiskaming districts continue to stay within those communities to support local programs and services.”
Mayor of North Bay, Al McDonald, commented on the regional expansion: “Michael Cullen and staff at United Way have truly made a difference in our city. This organization with its proven leadership is a must for all regions in our country. The north is a place we choose to live and United Way is there to support organizations that assist those that need our assistance the most.”
United Way Centraide Sudbury and/et Nipissing Districts works closely with district social service boards to prioritize and address community needs. “On behalf of the ManitoulinSudbury District Services Board, we look forward to being a part of this integrated United Way,” said Fern Dominelli, Chief Administrative Officer of the Manitoulin-Sudbury District Services Board. “It is good to know that United Way will continue to channel generosity and serve the many associations and agencies upon which so many depend.”
Les Gamble, Chair of the Manitoulin-Sudbury District Service Board and Mayor of SablesSpanish Rivers, reiterated, “A new model of efficiency and sustainability will allow United Way to continue to provide the valuable service throughout the North." The new regional United Way will have a single board of directors that will seek community representation. Local staff will remain in Timmins and all funding commitments in CochraneTimiskaming will be honoured and maintained during the transition period.