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engineering student Julia Costa chalks a messageFirst-year engineering student Julia Costa chalks a message from the United Way on a campus pavement.

Messages chalking up support for United Way in fight against poverty

One-third of Windsor’s low-income families live in very low-income neighbourhoods, the highest proportion in Canada.

That was just one of the messages shared by student volunteers who took to campus sidewalks last week to raise awareness about the impacts of poverty on our community.

Students chalked information drawn from the Cost of Poverty report produced by United Way Centraide of Windsor-Essex County. Among its findings:

  • the local poverty rate of over 18 percent is higher than both the Ontario and national average of under 15 percent;
  • nearly one-quarter of Windsor children live in low-income households; and
  • more than 40 percent of female-led single-parent families in Windsor-Essex live in poverty.

The local United Way supports neighbourhood renewal strategies that focus on promoting active community engagement, empowering residents, reducing crime and improving overall neighbourhood conditions. It also invests in programs to reduce poverty and support children and families.

The campus campaign in support of the charity’s work has distributed an e-pledge link to employee e-mail inboxes. Respondents can use it to set up a contribution through payroll deduction for 2015 or to make a one-time gift.

Donors will automatically enter a prize draw for incentives that include a Samsung Galaxy tablet computer, a Kobo Glo eReader or one additional paid vacation day.