United Way raises $103m for charities
Alessandro Boyd, Gleaner Writer
Ian Forbes, chairman of United Way of Jamaica, was elated last Thursday as he announced that the organisation was able to raise $103 million in the 2013 campaign year.
Forbes was speaking at the United Way of Jamaica's 29th annual Nation Builders' Award Ceremony which was held at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel.
The ceremony honoured 16 corporate and 32 individual donors and 63 organisations whose employers supported the work of the voluntary sector through salary deductions.
Forbes said the funds will be used to provide assistance and support for charities and organisations islandwide.
He also expressed his gratitude for the commitment and partnerships with the United Way, which he notes have combined to help improve lives especially among the less fortunate.
Anthony Hylton, minister of industry, investment and commerce, who was the guest speaker at the ceremony, lauded the United Way of Jamaica for its contribution to the country.
"We in the Ministry of Industry, Investment and Commerce welcome the results of the role that you and the many other volunteers and social entrepreneurs have been playing across the length and breadth of Jamaica," he said.
Hylton went on to note that charitable organisations across Jamaica such as United Way serve as testament to the high levels of volunteerism and philanthropy that still exist in our society today.
"The work of charitable organisations and the other non-governmental organisations that engage in social entrepreneurship helps to fill some of those gaps that the public sector may not be addressing directly," he said.
"We see this occurring in terms of your assistance to certain communities and individuals, whether in terms of income generation, helping people to change their lifestyles, the provision of their educational needs and so on," Hylton continued.
This year, Carreras Limited received the award for the highest corporate donor and Dr Robert Chen received the award for being the highest individual donor.
The Jamaica Constabulary Force received the award for the most outstanding employee-giving organisation.
The United Way of Jamaica is a charitable organisation which obtains its funds through Jamaicans in the diaspora and annual fundraising campaigns which targets companies, local and international funding agencies, professionals and individuals.
The funds are used to provide grants to support projects in the areas of education, health and income generation and community development.