$114,000 distributed among twenty local non-profit agencies and $7,500 in scholarships and bursaries to area graduates. That sums up what the United Way Pembina Valley (UWPV) accomplished in 2021.

The organization kicked off its 2022 campaign last week, gathering as a large group for the first time since the merger between the Morden and Winkler branches.

Board president Chris Willsey says they're looking forward to being out in the community.

"The feeling we're getting from people is they're looking forward to it, and more importantly, re-engaging with the importance of the United Way and the agencies we grant money to every year in this area."

He refers to the campaign as a community investment fund.

"We have a lot of great agencies in this area that do the important work. The United Way doesn't do the heavy lifting, we just try to support it. We're looking forward to getting out, and trying to raise some money in pursuit of that this year."

Factoring in inflation, and the amount of immigration in the area, Willsey says they are seeing needs of agencies grow, with a constant need for social services. 

"In the last couple of years our requests from agencies in the area have been in the $180,000 to $200,000 range. Obviously, we'd like to get to a point where we're fully funding those requests. But, you know, as long as we can put forward traction this year, we feel $140,000 is a healthy goal. Obviously we'd be more than grateful if we can meet and exceed that."

Donations to the United Way Pembina Valley campaign can be made in person at Access Credit Union branches in Winkler or Morden, as well as the Winkler Senior Centre. 

Willsey says they'll have a table set up outside Winkler Co-op on September 28th, and at Morden Co-op on October 4th.

Online donations can be made at unitedwaypembinavalley.ca. Cheques can be mailed to United Way, PO Box 758, Morden, MB, R6M 1A7. 

Businesses can also get in touch with UWPV to talk about setting up a payroll deduction program for their employees.  

Applications for United Way funding will be available soon at unitedwaypembinavalley.ca. The deadline to apply is December 15, 2022

This year's campaign will not include door-to-door canvasing.