Weyburn United Way seeks to be dissolved

Members of one of Weyburn’s major charitable organizations, the Weyburn and District United Way, will vote on whether to dissolve the group at a special meeting to be held on Wednesday, Dec. 12 at the Weyburn Legion Hall.

Citing the lack of sustainability for the umbrella group, which has served Weyburn for over 50 years, the United Way board decided at their meeting on Oct. 25 to dissolve, and to seek approval for their motion at the membership meeting, said president Sabrina Kraft. The meeting will be held in the Vimy Room downstairs in the Legion, and gets underway at 7 p.m.

article continues below

She noted it has become very difficult for charitable organizations to continue their fundraising efforts, and the United Way “can no longer be effective” in fundraising in the way the group is currently structured.

The board has been working with United Way Canada and other United Way boards in Saskatchewan, and has their support to make this move, she added.

As a part of dissolution, the Weyburn United Way will be celebrating the “Communithon Champions” from the 2018 event, and will be presenting their allocation cheques to the 13 member agencies at this meeting, plus as all financial assets are to be dispersed before they wind up on Dec. 31, a total of around $170,000 will be allocated.

“The United Way has served the community for over 50 years. We want to celebrate all of the volunteers who have supported us in the past and will continue to support us,” said Kraft.

The local volunteers will “continue to work with United Ways in Saskatchewan to ensure the community is served in a sustainable manner,” said Kraft.

She also pointed out that any local donation made to the United Way will not be affected, and in the future donations can continue to be made, with donors able to specify that these are to go towards needs in Weyburn, or in support of the local member agencies.

This has already been happening, as for example when donations are made by national banks, they are made to United Way Canada, which then redirects the donations to Weyburn.

“We still consider volunteers as the heart of the United Way,” said Kraft, noting they will continue to urge local volunteers to continue to be involved, and to see what ideas may be shared by other United Way boards for the future.

To this end, a meeting will be held in January about the future of the Communithon fundraiser (such as is shown in the photo above of the Communithon Superheroes taking part in a challenge event) and to look at ways it might be improved upon. If there is continued interest to hold this fundraising event, then it will go ahead as planned. Access Communications has indicated they will continue to support the Communithon if it continues.

In the meantime, anyone who has made pledges to the United Way through the Communithon is urged to pay those pledges on or before Dec. 20, so the United Way will be able to close their books by the end of the calendar year. All pledges may be paid online at weyburnunitedway.com or by sending a cheque to Box 608, Weyburn, Sask., S4H 2K7.