Over its 51 years of operations, Morden's United Way has never achieved totals like they have this last year.
The organization raised $92,800, allowing United Way to accommodate every request they received. This achievement was a pleasant surprise says President Alex Fedorchuk. He noted 2017 was a problematic year raising $70,000, and they didn't know what to expect from 2018.
"You always have to have a higher target, so we set $80,000 as the target. Things were going pretty well, so we decided on a stretch target of $85,000, low and behold when the dust settled we had donations of $92,800."
Fedorchuk adds for the first time; after donating to each application, United Way has a surplus of $6,800. The organization will retain this surplus, for late applications or new agencies looking for grant money.
Having a record year is fantastic says Fedorchuk and attributes part of that success to the kindness of the community.
"The wonderful, generous people of the area, I can't say enough about them. Manitoba per capita is one is the most generous province in Canada, and I would suspect that Southern Manitoba is probably the most generous in the province."
Another contributing factor comprises of United Way maintaining a high profile. Fedorchuk says the organization continues to get the word out about their mission, through social media and events like their Combine Pull.
The Combine Pull was put together as a unique event for the United Way's 50th anniversary. Featuring a Calcutta, people would buy a team, with 50 percent of the winnings going towards the buyer of the winning team and 50 towards the United Way.
To maintain their momentum, Fedorchuk says they will continue to promote their events and programs, Koats for Kids, Skate with Santa, and their Payroll Reduction Plan.
Another way will be listening to suggestions from younger generations, through the board's youth member. Grade 10 student Riley Hiebert will be the youth member, and Fedorchuk hopes she sticks around for a few years as the board learns a lot from what younger minds have to offer.