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United Way appeals for help to raise $5M for local programming

The United Way Ottawa is appealing to people who've never made a donation before to help them reach their ambitious goal to raise $21 million for local programming.

Already they've raised $16 million which means they'll be able to help 57,000 people here in Ottawa through programs like homework clubs, seniors services, centres for single moms, early learning programs and more.

"What Barbara and I have had a chance to see up front is just the generosity of the people of Ottawa when they realize that there are, their neighbours in some cases, you know, with mental health issues or disability issues or seniors are living isolated or people in crisis these are people who live around us," said campaign co-chair Goldy Hyder.

"This is not some other Ottawa we're talking about it's right in our own city and to see the impact that money is making I think will just help people realize it's going to good use," he said.

Unless another $5 million is raised there are 19,000 people who will be left behind. These could be children in your neighbourhood, new moms, seniors, newcomers, who won't have access to essential programming if the money isn't there to provide services.

For example, United Way run homework clubs have contributed to an increase of high school graduates in Ottawa and many of the participants return later as volunteers.

"I think what we need to do is remind people, people think of United Way as a fall campaign, but it's three seasons pretty well and the need is still there and there's still an opportunity to donate," said Barbara Crook, the campaign's second co-chair.

Another $12 million has been raised through the United Way for registered Canadian charities but the need now is for funding for local programming.

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