Letters to the Editors

Poverty action

Re: “Student raises local poverty awareness,” (Jan. 18).

Dear Editors,

Thank you for your insightful piece about poverty in Kingston. We’d like to share the fact that there are numerous community groups that exist to fight local poverty and assist those in need.

In particular, the United Way has long served the Kingston community and surrounding counties by raising and allocating funds each year to those in greatest need.

United Way agencies have helped hundreds of individuals access emergency shelter, transitional or permanent housing and counseling to stabilize their lives.

The United Way developed “A Place First: a Community Plan on Homelessness and Affordable Housing in Kingston” and is currently working closely with the City of Kingston and Kingston’s Roundtable on Poverty to develop a community plan on what needs to be done to alleviate the impacts of poverty in the long run.

There are many ways students can get involved and join the United Way’s efforts in fighting local issues that impact thousands in the area.

For instance, the Queen’s United Way Committee’s “Days of Caring” give students the opportunity to volunteer at shelters that exist to alleviate the impact of poverty and food insecurity, such as the St. Vincent de Paul Society and St. George’s Outreach.

There are also other clubs on campus that allow students to learn more about local poverty such as Meal Exchange and Soul Food. Students are invited to provide input into community plans and call the United Way or visit their website (unitedwaykfla.ca) to learn more about the issues and find volunteer opportunities in Kingston and area.

Each year staff, students, faculty and retirees at Queen’s make up the largest workplace contribution to the United Way’s Kingston, Frontenac, Lennox and Addington (KFL&A) campaign, with about $20,000 of its contribution coming from AMS student fees.

With the United Way opt-out fee going to referendum on Feb. 1 and 2, students have the chance to make a difference in the lives of so many people.

By voting yes for the United Way, students can continue to provide these funds to those who need it most and show their commitment to making beneficial change in the Kingston community.

Leia de Guzman, B.Comm and B.ScH’ 13,
Chair, Queen’s United Way Committee

Bhavana Varma,
President & CEO, United Way serving KFL&A

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