United Way celebrates 50 years

It was in 1961 at the request of two fire-fighters, Fred Little and Herbie Philips, that the United Appeal was launched.

They first sent out letters to households and asked for feedback on the idea of having one organization collect for the many that were coming to their doors. They had an overwhelming response and began door-to-door campaigning for eight agencies. And in 1963 Len Fox got the idea to approach businesses for payroll deductions.

On Monday, the United Way of North Okanagan Columbia Shuswap celebrates 50 years of a united effort to support various charitable organizations and programs in the community.

Today, this United Way supports 28 not-for-profits in our region.

In the past 10 years $2,227,749 has been raised through employee payroll deduction programs and corporate and individual donors giving generously to United Way.

“This is a wonderful community full of kind and generous people,” said Linda Yule, executive director of United Way “Without the generosity of our donors we would not be able to work with our community partners to create opportunities for a better life for everyone in our communities.

“Going forward United Way will be focussing on moving people from poverty to possibility, supporting initiatives for people and communities to be healthy and strong, and helping our children be all that they can be. We are very proud of our long service in the North Okanagan Columbia Shuswap. We are here to provide conscientious stewardship of our donors’ dollars.”

In celebration of its 50th anniversary, United Way is hosting an open house Monday from 2 to 4 p.m. with coffee and cake. Everyone is encouraged to stop by to chat about what matters to you in your community.

United Way is located at 3304 30th Avenue, downtown, next door to Corbett’s Office Equipment and across the street from Liquidation World.