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12 Days of Good News

This has been a tough year, but among the challenges, there have been many good things that have happened too. Over the next 12 days, we are going to be highlighting some of these stories as a wrap to 2021.

From now until December 24, Northumberland United Way will be sharing a new good news story each day to highlight some of the good things that have happened in a challenging year.

We would like to encourage you to do the same! Do you have a good news story you would like to share? Email for a chance to be featured. Stories can be written, in pictures, videos, however, you see fit. 

Day 12: RBC Brighton

On the 12th day of 12 Days of Good News, we’re thanking RBC Brighton for donating over 50 hygiene kits to be distributed to social service organizations across Northumberland County!

These kits are filled with soap, menstrual hygiene products, socks, and other essential hygiene items that will help those in our community who are experiencing housing insecurity. One of the recipients is Transition House who will be handing out kits at Northumberland County’s Warming Room.

This incredible donation is very much appreciated, especially during the cold winter months. Thank you to everyone at RBC Brighton for showing your #LocalLove this holiday season!

Are you interested in donating hygiene kits? Contact Dianne at to learn more

Day 11: Happy Holidays from Northumberland United Way

With the holidays fast approaching, I want to extend a sincere thanks to everyone who has supported the United Way campaign so far and wish you all a safe and happy holiday season.

This past year has been another trying year for all of us. Despite great obstacles, our community has come together to support residents who need it most.

At United Way, we have had great success with a number of initiatives, and we have highlighted these through our 12 Days of Good News campaign that will go until the 24 of December.

This year we raised $40,000 during our radio-thon thanks to the generosity of the Farren Family and their Matching Gift. We have invested more than $100,000 in the community through Northumberland Eats – a program that provides food vouchers to those who need them and promotes local businesses in Northumberland County. Our Period Promise initiative saw over 11,000 menstrual hygiene products distributed to individuals, families, and not-for-profit organizations locally and an increase in awareness around period poverty. More than 1,100 backpacks were distributed through our Backpacks for Kids program, with an additional 135 that were given out this month to those experiencing housing instability. As well, we continue to support COVID-19 response efforts locally and have raised over $60,000 that has been distributed to local organizations. This includes $20,000 that was raised through Northumberland Rocks Back, organized by a dedicated group of volunteers to support COVID-19 efforts in our community.

Without the support of dedicated donors, volunteers, and staff, none of this would be possible. It is because of the generosity that exists in our community that we are able to support essential programs and services in Northumberland County every year. It is because of this generosity that we will continue to support these programs for years to come.

We have also welcomed new and returning Board members to Northumberland United Way who will help lead us into the future by investigating new strategies and innovations to improve our performance and overall impact. These directors bring with them strong skillsets from a variety of sectors, and they are poised and ready to take on any challenges and opportunities that lie ahead for our organization and this community.

Although it is unclear how this next year will unfold, United Way will continue to respond to the needs in our community with relevant strategies aimed at making our community great for everyone. We look forward to working with all of our partners to make this happen.

We are living in unpredictable times and our community is showing great strength and leadership in the face of adversity. We want to thank each and every person who has reached out to support someone in need in Northumberland County this year and we look forward to seeing you next year.

Happy Holidays!

Bobbie, Cathy, Dianne, Maggie, and Chelsea

Day 10: Personal Protective Equipment Distribution

On the 10th Day of 12 Days of Good News, we’re thanking Nanoleaf, United Way Hastings Prince Edward and Canadian Tire for their donation of personal protective equipment! These incredible organizations donated face masks and hand sanitizer for us to distribute to help keep front line workers and volunteers safe in our community.

So far, we have distributed over 80,000 non-medical face masks and 29 industrial hand sanitizer pails to local organizations in our community! Some of the organizations that have received face masks and hand sanitizer include:

  • Transition House
  • Community Care Northumberland
  • YMCA Northumberland
  • Horizons of Friendship
  • And more!

Are you a local non-profit or social service organization in need of masks? Email Maggie at Available until we run out.

Day 9: Backpacks for Kids

On the 9th Day of 12 Days of Good News, we’re celebrating our Backpacks for Kids program!

Each year, Northumberland United Way works hard to provide backpacks full of school supplies to children and families in our community. This year, more than 1,100 backpacks were distributed through our Backpacks for Kids program, with an additional 135 that were given out this month to those experiencing housing instability. Some were even provided to children getting there first shot at local vaccine clinics!

“I have three kids and being a single Mom on a budget is hard, especially during back-to-school time. My kids absolutely loved their backpack and supplies and if it wasn’t for the Backpack for Kids program, I wouldn’t have been able to afford all of these items. Thanks so much for having such an amazing program!”

This program would not exist without the tremendous community support given to United Way!

Day 8: 2021 Grant Fund Recipients

On the 8th Day of 12 Days of Good News, we’re continuing to respond to the needs in our community, with $24,000 in grants to support five local organizations!

Northumberland United Way is supporting local non-profits through Grant funding to respond to vital needs in the community.

“Thank you to all organizations who applied for 2021 Grant funding,” says Bobbie Dawson, CEO, Northumberland United Way. “It is because of the immense generosity of our community that we are able to continue our grant program and provide support for local organizations during another challenging year.”

Funding through Northumberland United Way’s grant stream supports charitable organizations in Northumberland County to build capacity for an existing service or pilot a new program to address emerging or essential needs in the community. This year, applications had to be directly related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Northumberland United Way is thrilled to share an update on the recipients of 2021 Grant funding. To date, five organizations have been approved for a total of $24,000 including:

Transition House Emergency Shelter: To support a Community Well-Being Worker at the Northumberland County Warming Room
Rotary Club of Campbellford: Rotary Hall renovations to adhere to COVID-19 requirements and support the EarlyON clients using the facility
Grief Stories: Provide support to help those experiencing grief during the pandemic
Northumberland Food for Thought: Student Nutrition program
Community Health Centres of Northumberland: Emergency Food Cupboard program

Day 7: Northumberland Eats

On the 7th Day of 12 Days of Good News, we’d like to celebrate Northumberland Eats! The Northumberland Eats food voucher program, a partnership of Northumberland United Way and Northumberland County, aims to provide food support to individuals and families while supporting local businesses across our community.

Vouchers are distributed by participating social service organizations across the county to individuals and families experiencing food insecurity. These vouchers can then be used like cash at nearly 25 participating restaurants and food vendors throughout our community. Since its launch in December 2020, we have invested more than $100,000 in the community through Northumberland Eats and provided over 15,000 food vouchers! As well, we distributed $30,000 in food vouchers this month alone!

Here are some good news stories from participating food vendors and clients who have used the food vouchers:

“Thank you very much, United Way, for connecting with Northumberland Housing for the $30 voucher. The Northumberland Eats program is wonderful! It helps both local restaurants and the people who live on a low income.” – Food voucher recipient

“We are proud to be supporting the Northumberland Eats program. All our staff love to see the clients who are using their coupons and their joy in their faces when they are buying beautiful healthy food. They are so thrilled that they get to shop in our little market and we are so happy to have them.” – Participating Business

Are you a local restaurant or food vendor interested in participating in our Northumberland Eats voucher program? Contact Maggie Darling at

Day 6: Northumberland Rocks Back

On the 6th Day of 12 Days of Good News, we’d like to thank everyone who attended Northumberland Rocks Back! The outdoor benefit concert held in August showcased local talents Cale Crowe, The Spirits, Jeremy Macklin, and Jesse Slack with stories from frontline workers and local volunteers.

The concert raised $25,172 of which, $18,672 was donated to the Northumberland United Way COVID-19 Community Relief Fund.

“Northumberland Rocks Back was proud to work with the Northumberland United Way to ensure all the funds raised from the concert will support local community organizations and impact residents,” said Graham Beer, Chair of Northumberland Rocks Back and Executive Producer of Cobourg Media.

8 organizations were approved for COVID-19 Community Relief funding for a total of $20,300, including:

  • Transition House
  • SONG (Sounds of the Next Generation)
  • Community Health Centres of Northumberland
  • The Salvation Army Cobourg and Port Hope Community & Family Services
  • YMCA
  • Five Counties Children’s Centre
  • The Help Centre of Northumberland
  • La Jeunesse Choirs

Although the concert may be over, Northumberland County will continue to rock because of the generosity of our amazing community!

Day 5: Farren Family Matching Gift

On the 5th Day of 12 Days of Good News, we’d like to thank the Farren Family for their incredible matching gift that we announced during our 2nd annual Radiothon! We are so grateful to the Farren Family for their donation that has helped to raise $40,000!

“Having grown up in the community we are passionate about its long-term success and the incredible work that United Way delivers across Northumberland County.” Brett Farren.

Thank you to everyone in Northumberland County who rose to the matching gift challenge! These funds went directly towards our annual Community Fund that provides food and housing support, children’s programming, seniors at home help, mental health support and more.

Thank you to My Broadcasting Corporation and live on Classic Rock 107.9, 93.3 myFM, Brighton Oldies, and all our incredible sponsors, for helping to make this year’s Radiothon a huge success!

Day 4: Period Promise Northumberland

On the 4th day of 12 Days of Good News, we’d like to celebrate Period Promise Northumberland!
The Period Promise campaign by United Way, funded locally by Northumberland United Way and Thrive Northumberland, aims to address the issue of period poverty in our community while advocating for social change. Since its launch in 2020, we have distributed over 11,000 menstrual hygiene products to individuals, families, and non-profit organizations locally.
We’d also like to take this opportunity to recognize Nourish Boutique Spa and Nurturing Health Northumberland for hosting another holiday collection drive from now until December 31 to raise products and monetary donations to help end period poverty in our community.
How can you support Period Promise Northumberland this holiday season? Drop off your donations of menstrual products (pads, tampons, panty liners, menstrual underwear, menstrual cup, etc.) at the following locations:
• Nurturing Health Naturopathic Clinic
• Nourish Boutique Spa
• Northumberland United Way

Day 3: Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northumberland

On the 3rd day of 12 Days of Good News, we’re sharing a story from Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northumberland.

“Justin* and Zach* had been meeting for 6 months. Zach (the Little) was worried about his meetings with Justin (the Big) once COVID-19 started up and there were closures and social distancing put in place. Zach and Justin lost touch for a few weeks as the stress from homeschooling, life and COVID-19 mounted. During a phone call with Zach’s mom, they learned Zach was feeling very overwhelmed with the change of being home, not seeing his friends and starting up his first year in high school all while dealing with the impacts from COVID-19. He felt shut in and shut down. Zach has said he doesn’t have a dad in his life and Justin fills this role and helps him navigate life and situations with family. Zach and Justin value their time together and the mentorship relationship that brings joy to Justin and much needed guidance to Zach. Without Justin’s caring approach, Zach would not have the male guidance he needs during this period of adolescence or the encouragement and support to pursue his schooling. Justin has been a confidant for Zach and we look forward to them continuing their relationship in the year ahead.”

This year, 179 children in our community like Zach, participated in Big Brothers Big Sisters mentorship programs that provide guidance, friendship, and positive support for kids.

Day 2: Barrett’s Christmas Tree Farm and Baltimore Valley Garden Centre

On the 2nd day of 12 Days of Good News, we’re sharing fun winter activities you can bring your whole family to and show your #LocalLove at the same time!

During the week of December 13 to 19, a portion of Family Fun Farm ticket sales at Barrett’s Christmas Tree Farm will be donated to Northumberland United Way! Meet Luna the donkey, roast marshmallows on a campfire, play a game of festive bean bag toss and more!

Christmas is just around the corner! Do you have your tree yet? This holiday season, a portion of proceeds from the sale of each fresh-cut Christmas tree at Baltimore Valley Garden Centre will help support Northumberland United Way.

Thank you to Barrett’s Tree Farm and Baltimore Valley Garden Centre for supporting Northumberland United Way this holiday season!

Day 1: No one goes hungry this holiday

We are starting off 12 Days of Good News by making sure no one goes hungry this holiday season. The holidays are a magical time. But for the one in eight families currently experiencing food insecurity in our community, the holidays will look much different.

When you support Northumberland United Way, you’re supporting essential programs in our community like the Community Health Centres of Northumberland‘s food cupboard that delivered 7,198 meals and 3,076 food baskets to clients.

Other organizations that support food security in our community:

Donate today and give the gift of hope.

It's our Radiothon &
Giving Tuesday!

Today’s the day! Join us for our 4th annual Radiothon presented by Cobourg KIA, broadcasting live on Classic Rock 107.9, 93.3 myFM, and Oldies 100.9. We’re bringing the excitement to you from Lauria Hyundai in Port Hope and The Market & Smør in Cobourg. Your support directly benefits the Northumberland Eats Voucher Program and other essential programs. Tune in now and be part of the positive impact!