Toronto, Ontario — Every year since 2004, employees at Futuba Industrial Ontario Automotive (FIO) raise funds for United Way’s fundraising campaign. This year, the company shattered its existing records by donating $132,865.48 to the cause.
On Dec. 5, United Way Perth-Huron campaign co-chair Martin Ritsma visited FIO Automotive Canada’s headquarters in Stratford, Ont. to share what a difference the previous year’s donation had made for the organization. By the end of the midnight shift the next day, FIO employees had reportedly raised $66,550—a donation that was later matched by FIO’s head office in Japan.
All in all, FIO donated $132,865.48 to United Way’s campaign. The facility dropped off the cheque in mid-January.
“We ensure we make giving back a focus here,” said Debbie Colclough, FIO’s human resources manager and overseer of the plant’s charitable contributions. “We bring all of our team members in, put the pledge forms out, have a speaker come from United Way to give a true, heartfelt story and the rest is all them, honestly. They’re very giving here.”
“If you look at the demographics, a lot of the team members are very young, so they may well know people who have used some of the United Way services,” said Al Jones, the company’s general manager of welding and stamping. “It gives them an opportunity to say, ‘Wow, I’m now working full time, and maybe two or three years ago I didn’t have that opportunity and I used the services supported by the United Way.’”
“When you look out at the employees, they get it,” said Ritsma. They see the impact our organization has on homelessness, on poverty, on mental health and what we can do to impact people’s lives.”
Employees at the Ontario plant have donated to United Way for more than 15 years, but the annual contribution grew last year after company headquarters agreed to begin matching donations.
For its 2019-2020 campaign, United Way Perth-Huron is hoping to raise $1,633,566. According to its website, it has raised $1,372,438 so far—84 percent of its goal!
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