UNITI – the partnership of the Semiahmoo House Society, the Peninsula Estates Housing Society and the Semiahmoo Foundation – is celebrating the success of its holiday fundraising initiative, The 12 Days of Uniti.
Between physical and online donations, UNITI collected some $114,396 during the campaign, which started at the beginning of December and ran until shortly after New Year’s Day.
“It’s been a tremendous success,” said UNITI CEO Doug Tennant. “We’re humbled and grateful to know the community is supporting us during a very difficult time. It’s very much going to help people with disabilities in the year ahead.”
Tennant noted that response to the 12 Days of UNITI helped offset the absence of a gala fundraiser for the organization for the last two years.
He added he believes a significant amount of the contributions came from supporters of the Harmony project, a six-storey development proposed by UNITI for the 15100-block of 20 Avenue South Surrey.
The project – which would have provided a combination of inclusive, affordable and close-to-market-rate units, serving the needs of people with disabilities and other residents, including seniors and youth – was rejected by Surrey council on July 27 in a 5-3 vote, despite a majority of those who spoke at a three-hour public hearing being in support.
Neighbours who spoke against the project underlined that they were not opposed to the concept, but resistant to the height of the development as proposed.
In September, UNITI chair Bea Hadikin said the board is continuing to strategize “how to move the project forward in a way that is approvable and buildable to city council and still financially viable for a non-profit.”
“The community that supported Harmony really stepped up for the 12 Days of UNITI, and we’re grateful for their support,” Tennant commented.
“The project really resonated with the local community – this is by far the most money we’ve raised (in a single initiative), by double,” he said.
“It’s a huge vote of confidence.”
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