Digging It-Day of Caring with Toyota

“It was a great way to spend a day and make a difference”-Day of Caring Participant

 

It wasn’t a normal work day for any of us. A group of Toyota employees and some staff from United Way Waterloo Region Communities traded in their usual employment tools for pitchforks, shovels and gloves at the Rare Charitable Reserve community gardens.  For more than 7 hours we worked our way from fruit trees to potato planting to rows of beans, squash and zucchini.

United Way Waterloo Region Communities works alongside both the Cambridge Self Help Food Bank, and the Food Bank of Waterloo Region to address the issue of food insecurity.

The Springbank Food Bank Gardens at Rare offer an opportunity for people to “get their hands dirty” and really help out. The gardens cover more than 15 thousand square feet just off Blair Road.  For the last couple of years they have produced more than 6 thousand pounds of fresh food.  Healthy and nutritious meals can be a challenge for people struggling with food insecurity.

Our group on this particular day was charged with a big job.

Last year more than 60 fruit trees were planted on the property, thanks to a generous donation from a local grower.  This time of year, it’s necessary to remove the straw around the base of each tree, and then get down to the hard work of digging out the weeds with a pitchfork.  After that we loaded up wheelbarrows full of compost (created from a huge pile of leaves donated by a nearby resident last fall) and spread that around the base.  Fresh bales of straw were brought in so we could cover that nutrient rich compost, and give these trees a great start on their summer. 

The trees won’t be producing any fruit this year.  Supervisors at the garden say they will be far better off, and more robust if they are given another year to settle in before becoming productive.  But in 2019 these trees will be providing fresh fruit to kids and families who might not otherwise be able to afford such important parts of a healthy diet.

After a break for lunch we headed off to another part of the garden to plant what some call one of the world’s most versatile foods–the potato!   

Thankfully someone else had already done most of the weeding (most of us were done with weeds for the day!).  After a little bit of raking, and the creation of a couple of trenches we simply dropped in the potatoes, covered them up, and applied some water.  Nature will take of the rest.

The rest of the afternoon was filled by creating more beds and planting them with a variety of other vegetables.

All of us on the day have had some experience gardening but everyone agreed it was a different feeling to know the work you had invested was going to pay off for some people who really need the help.

Thanks to the great team at Rare, and our partners at Toyota we know plates, and bellies will be full of nutritious food later this year.

If you’re interested in bringing a team in for a volunteer opportunity we can help.  We’re currently re-invigorating our Days of Caring initiative, and we’ll have more information on that in the next few weeks.

Is Technology a Force for Good?

“Tech for Good”

That was the theme of the True North conference held last week in Waterloo Region.

For many of us, the life changing aspects of technology might only extend as far as the smartphone we carry everywhere.

Has that been a force for good?  If you look at the issue, every major technological innovation has both good and bad connected with it.

At one point, the automobile, as noted in this article was a “toy for the rich” but it soon became a powerful force, as one historian put it “freeing people from the limits of their geography”

On the other hand, the Association for Safe International Road Travel says more than 32 hundred people are killed in car crashes each day around the world.  Technological innovations in other industries have improved productivity, but have also eliminated jobs.

Former Governor General David Johnston opened the second day of the conference unveiling the Tech for Good Declaration. 

  1. Build trust and respect your data.
  2. Be transparent and give choice
  3. Reskill the future of work
  4. Leave no one behind
  5. Think inclusively at every stage
  6. Actively participate in collaborative governance.

You can read the full declaration and the accompanying explanation at the link above.

But it really comes down to another sentence from Mr. Johnston.

“Do the right thing. Not just the thing right”

 

True North described itself this way:

 

 

 

Technology is inevitable. But what does it mean to be human in a tech-driven world? As we speed towards an unknown future, there are fundamental, difficult and sometimes scary issues that will divide and unite us.

True North is a two-day conversation about the intersection of humans and technology. It’s an opportunity to imagine and re-imagine the impact of technology — the good and the bad. To examine the values that guide technology innovation. And to redefine tech as a force for good.

As Bozoma Saint John, the Chief Brand Officer for Uber told True North attendees, “The intention of technology is to make life better”

But she also noted, as we all go through our lives “There are rare moments of empathy. How often do we miss them?”

Last week’s conference covered a wide range of topics. Beyond the workshop creating the Tech for Good declaration, participants also heard from industry leaders like Shopify’s Loren Padelford who says his company’s e-commerce technology is doing good by empowering people to create their own businesses.

There is, as we said earlier, good and bad in everything.

Where do we go from here?

We’re looking for a few good ideas. Forever Fund grant applications now being accepted.

Expressive Arts Therapy for children and their parents.

A Friendship Connection program which brings teens together with seniors.

Those are two programs being powered by the Forever Fund. The fund, a part of United Way supported by an endowment, looks for innovative programs which touch on two specific issues.

  1. Mental health supports for children and families
  2. Innovative initiatives for seniors at risk.

Expressive Arts Therapy:

Created by YW Kitchener-Waterloo,this program is targeting families living in supportive housing.  At one time or another all of the participants have experienced homelessness. That’s a traumatizing experience for anyone, and it’s not unusual in this particular target group to see major depression, Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and substance abuse.

1 in 3 homeless mothers has attempted suicide-Raising the Roof, 2016

The project hopes to change the impact of poverty on the children and families taking part by providing an emotional outlet. The delivery of the program will move through supportive housing locations in Waterloo.

 

The Friendship Connection:

Developed by Community Support Connections-Meals on Wheels and More,this is a new take on the well established and popular Friendly Visitor program.

“Join our team to deliver meals and smiles” is the first line on the Friendly Visitor website.

The Friendship Connection takes this idea to a much higher level, where a volunteer forms a group with multiple seniors as opposed to a one-on-one connection.  It will also integrate the passion and talents of post secondary students looking for meaningful career related experiences.

For seniors, they won’t need to wait as long to enter the program. Once the group is up and running, they will be interacting with not only the volunteer, but with a group of their peers. Lack of contact with others is a serious issue for seniors.

More than 1 in 3 women over the age of 65 live alone- Statistics Canada

Without a local network of family or friends, a senior can soon become isolated or withdrawn.

 

United Way Waterloo Region Communities is now looking for applications for the next round of Forever Fund support. Once again grants will be considered for programs in the streams mentioned above.

It’s a simple three step process.

Step 1: Contact United Way Waterloo Region Communities about your interest in a Forever Fund grant by emailing Brian Kamm.

Step 2: If your program or initiative fits, you will receive additional criteria and a link to the online application portal.

Step 3: Submit your completed application package to United Way Waterloo Region Communities by 5 p.m. on Friday July 13th.

Your organization could be the one making a concrete difference in the lives of children, families or seniors!

 

 

 

 

June is Seniors’ Month

We’ve heard for years about the impact of the baby boom generation. In Canada,the boom years spanned from 1946 to 1965.

During those 20 years more than 8 million babies were born–an average of more than 400 thousand per year. To put that in perspective there were 377 thousand births in 2008, when Canada’s population was double that of the boom years.

The baby boom generation has driven almost every major change in our society from food to fashion to entertainment. Now, as many of those people retire, or at least start to think about it, they will continue to have a big impact.

Census numbers from 2016 indicate 2.3 million people over the age of 65 live in Ontario.  By 2041 that total will double to 4.6 million, making up 25 per cent of the province’s population. Life expectancy has risen dramatically in Canada over the last 50 years.

Many of them will continue to work. A Vanier Institute study suggests almost half of all people expect to continue working past the age  of 65. (That same survey says the average retirement age has increased to almost 64)

Health and finances are the major concerns for people of any age, but those issues are magnified for seniors.

The effect of demographics on every aspect of public and social policy is remarkable. Our local communities in Cambridge, Kitchener and Waterloo are all working to become more age friendly.

United Way Waterloo Region Communities invests in many networks and programs which help people of all ages.  That includes the 2-1-1 information network which offers an easy path to discover information about the myriad of programs for seniors in any area. If you’re not sure where to start looking for help for yourself, or a senior in your life 211 is an ideal launching point.

You can click here to see a list of the agencies we fund, and the networks to which we belong.

Paper Chase: Shred for a Cause

“Everything we do in the digital realm – from surfing the Web to sending an e-mail to conducting a credit card transaction to, yes, making a phone call – creates a data trail. And if that trail exists, chances are someone is using it – or will be soon enough.”-Douglas Rushkoff, author of “Throwing Rocks at the Google Bus”

The discussion and concern about privacy and security of our personal information is growing.

The rise and fall of Cambridge Analytica and the information it may have gathered and passed along from millions of Facebook accounts has resulted in a wave of Terms of Service emails as companies scramble to protect themselves.

But as much as the author Douglas Rushkoff warns of the trail we all leave on the internet, identity theft often begins in a very low-tech way.

Pieces of mail taken while on a dumpster diving expedition can lead a savvy thief to a treasure trove.  Not only does it threaten your personal security, it but could result in financial ruin.

Identity thieves are a crafty bunch and their motivations can be wide ranging, from posing as a doctor to getting into an Ivy League school.

On May 26th, Shred-Tech in Cambridge will hold its 11th annual “Shred for a Cause” day.

In partnership with Preston Towne Centre, the company will bring in a shredding truck to give you the opportunity to destroy all those personal documents.

Most of us have recently finished our tax returns.  Those documents–from banks, credit cards and more are obvious targets.  As this article points out there are many other pieces of paper you might not consider problematic but can be valuable in the wrong hands.

On Shred Day a grocery bag full of papers will cost $3 to dispatch into confetti. A bankers box will cost just $7.

All proceeds from the day go to United Way Waterloo Region Communities.

According to the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario, the cost of identity theft in 2008 was more than 7 billion dollars.  And it’s a crime which has been growing.

It is difficult to stay up to date on all the latest scams and fraudulent practices, but a simple step such as destroying personal papers offers some level of protection.

 

 

 

 

A Waterloo Region wide volunteer centre brings benefits.

One stop shopping for volunteer opportunities in Waterloo Region

Volunteer Centres in Cambridge and Kitchener-Waterloo combine services.

May 9, 2018 (Waterloo Region)

There’s now just one place to go for residents to find volunteer opportunities and for community organizations to recruit volunteers in Waterloo Region.

After a successful partnership covering three decades, the Volunteer Centre of Cambridge, run by United Way Waterloo Region Communities, and the Volunteer Action Centre of Kitchener-Waterloo have pooled their resources and expertise to better serve both member organizations and volunteers. As part of the transition, the latter organization has rebranded as the Volunteer Action Centre of Waterloo Region and has updated its website and social media handles to reflect its wider reach.

The Volunteer Action Centre believes all parties will benefit from a region-wide system, increasing exposure for both potential volunteers and the organizations in need of their support. The Centre’s online database now houses volunteer opportunities from nearly 200 organizations across Kitchener, Waterloo, Cambridge, Wellesley, Wilmot, Woolwich and North Dumfries.

In addition to its office at 151 Frederick Street, Suite 500 in Kitchener, ON, the Volunteer Action Centre is also excited to offer in-person support for volunteers and members at a new satellite office in Cambridge, ON every Wednesday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. This new service will be offered out of the Region of Waterloo’s Employment Resource Centre located at 150 Main Street, Cambridge, ON.

United Way Waterloo Region Communities is proud to invest in volunteerism locally and will continue to provide funding for the Volunteer Action Centre’s work across the Region of Waterloo.

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About the Volunteer Action Centre

The Volunteer Action Centre, established in 1984, has a mission to build and develop community capacity for volunteerism. The centre supports nearly 200 community organizations to recruit, retain and recognize volunteers, and provides professional development related to volunteerism. The centre also collaborates with municipalities, businesses and post-secondary institutions to strengthen community engagement.

United Way Waterloo Region Communities is the largest funder of social programs in the region outside of government.  Working in collaboration with our partner agencies we are striving to provide everyone the best opportunity to reach their full potential. Find out more at our website.

 

Keep in touch with Volunteer Action Centre Waterloo Region

Website:  https://www.volunteerwr.ca/

Twitter:   @volunteerWR

Instagram: @volunteerwr

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/volunteerWR/

About United Way Waterloo Region Communities

 

Congratulations to the 2018 Spirit Award Winners

2018 United Way Waterloo Region Communities Spirit Award Winners

Rising Star 

The Rising Star Award recognizes a new or returning campaign and/or Employee Campaign Manager that has demonstrated outstanding initiative and immense growth throughout this year’s campaign efforts.

2018 Recipient:   Peak Realty

Peak Realty has become a valued partner in a United Way effort to expand its presence across Waterloo Region. By granting United Way office space in Ayr, Jason Bunker, Marlene Brown, and the entire team at Peak Realty are helping forge numerous close relationships in the Township of North Dumfries.  They have also facilitated important introductions to community members and groups, providing crucial feedback and advice on the issues unique to the region’s rural communities.

Labour Community Partnership

The Labour Community Partnership Award honours a labour partner whose members have shown dedication to their community through exceptional financial and volunteer support, exemplifying the sustained and rewarding relationship between the labour movement and United Way.

2018 Recipient: Elementary Teachers Federation Waterloo Region, and Elementary Teachers Federation Waterloo Region-Occasional Teachers

These two chapters of the Elementary Teachers Federation of Ontario have been supporters of United Way for many years, cementing the bond between United Way and the labour movement. In addition to their direct contribution, both units sit on a joint committee with the Waterloo Region District School Board, shaping an even bigger campaign. Through their networks they also encourage members to become United Way champions in the schools, helping to create the next generation of philanthropists 

Spirit of Community

The Spirit of the Community Award honours an individual or group that personifies exceptional community spirit, team spirit and spirit of generosity through their significant overall partnership with United Way

2018 Recipient: John Neufeld

John Neufeld knows what it means to be an outsider. John’s family moved to Canada, from Russia in 1981, when he was just seven years old. He says “the playground was not a gentle place”. From that difficult start, John has carved out a legacy of caring, including 11 years working in the foster care system. Today, John is Executive Director of House of Friendship, which serves more than 40 thousand people through more than 15 separate programs. As a long time United Way partner, we are honoured to have John speak on our behalf as frequently as he does, and on the importance of working as a team to ensure everyone has access to the help they need.

Outstanding Workplace Campaign (large workplace)

The Outstanding Workplace Campaign Award recognizes the Employee Campaign manager and workplace that have shown outstanding efforts in informing and engaging employees in a larger workplace.

2018 Recipient: KPMG

 KPMG is an example of a United Way supporter where leadership leads to understanding and on to commitment. In 2017, KPMG experienced 20 per cent growth in its campaign, remarkably retaining 100 per cent of its donors from the previous year, and adding some new partners. KPMG also experienced a 68 per cent increase in employee participation.

Outstanding Workplace Campaign (small to medium workplace) 

The Outstanding Workplace Campaign Award acknowledges the Employee Campaign Manager and workplace that have shown outstanding efforts in informing and engaging employees while increasing donations in a smaller workplace with fewer than 100 employees.

 2018 Recipient: Lackner-McLennan/Erb and Erb Insurance

 In 2016 Lackner McLennan Insurance acquired Erb and Erb Insurance brokers. Together, these two companies have a combined 170 years of service to Waterloo Region. In this past year staff from both operations was moving into a new building and forming a single organization at the same time they ran their United Way Campaign. Despite that challenge they increased their support by 25 per cent!

Outstanding Volunteer Contribution

The Outstanding Volunteer Contribution honours an individual or group for outstanding volunteer service, celebrating the selfless spirit in which volunteerism is offered 

2018 Recipient: Norma McDonald-Ewing

For more than 10 years, Norma McDonald-Ewing has been the volunteer chair of our Community Impact Council. By establishing diligent processes and review, Norma and her team ensure donor dollars make a significant difference in the community. In addition Norma has been a committed champion for United Way in her personal and professional life, making connections and always willing to share her wisdom and guidance.

Outstanding Agency

Outstanding Agency Campaign Award is presented to an agency or workplace that displayed outstanding leadership and dedication during United Way’s annual campaign. 

2018 Recipient: Community Support Connections: Meals on Wheels and More.

The mission of Community Support Connections-Meals on Wheels and More is to “enable people to live at home with independence and dignity”. CSC delivers much more than just meals. Working with more than 500 volunteers, the organization makes a daily difference in the lives of more than one thousand clients. Through a variety of special events, as well as a United Way poverty simulation session, CSC was able to increase its campaign by more than 25 percent.

Community Leader

The Inaugural Community Leader Award recognizes an exemplary public leader who, through extraordinary contributions and outstanding commitment, has driven the spirit of community through personal involvement and initiative.

 2018 Recipient: Ken Seiling

 For more than 40 years, Ken Seiling has served his community. He’s been a teacher, and museum director—a church organist, choirmaster, and a hockey coach!

First elected as a Woolwich Township councillor in 1976, Ken became Mayor two years later and took a seat on Regional Council. His council peers elected him Chairman in 1985, and for the past 20 years he has been elected by the public to the same position. In addition to his duties as Chair, Ken can be seen at hundreds of events touching every corner of Waterloo Region, lending his support to dozens of worthy causes. United Way is proud to count Ken as one of our long-time supporters, and commend him for his work in helping to lead our Region into an era of innovation, while maintaining the community spirit for which our area is so well known.

Introducing the 2018 Spirit Award nominees

United Way Waterloo Region Communities is proud to work with, and through a dedicated list of individuals, organizations, volunteers and agencies. The 2018 Spirit Awards will honour the efforts of all those partners as we move toward our fall campaign.

Nominations revealed for 2018 Spirit Awards

Inspiring examples of Waterloo Region’s community spirit.

The first Spirit Awards presented by the newly integrated United Way Waterloo Region Communities (www.uwaywrc.ca) will be presented on Thursday, April 25th, at 64 Grand Avenue South in Cambridge, in the Gaslight District.

More than 30 individuals and organizations have been nominated for a Spirit Award in eight distinct categories, including the inaugural Community Leader Award. This award will recognize an exemplary leader who, through extraordinary contributions and outstanding commitment, has driven the spirit of community through personal involvement and initiative.

“We are very excited about this year’s Spirit Awards” says CEO Joan Fisk. “It is not only an opportunity to honour our incredible donors and community members, but a chance to introduce our newly integrated organization. We will also be showcasing our new campaign that will help bring our message to the Waterloo Region Communities and pave the way to the launch of our fundraising campaign on September 17th.

United Way Waterloo Region Communities was formed via the integration of United Way organizations in Kitchener-Waterloo and Area and Cambridge-North Dumfries. The new organization now operates from the very center of the region, at Sportsworld Crossing.

The awards highlight small, medium and large businesses which have shown support and innovation for United Way as well as individuals and supported agencies that have gone above and beyond in working together to address the important issues in our society.

Fisk says all the nominees have shown an exemplary dedication to improving their community through United Way and its partner agencies as well as building a culture where philanthropy and caring can thrive.

The Spirit Awards will be handed out on April 25th,  in the Gaslight District of Cambridge at 64 Grand Avenue S.     Tickets are going fast.  You can click here to reserve yours.

 

 

2018 Spirit Award Nominees

Rising Star- Honouring an organization which has shown growth in its United Way Campaign

Nominees:

  • Kitchener-Wilmot Hydro
  • Equitable Life of Canada
  • NewGround
  • Peak Realty
  • Local Health Integration Network

Labour Community Partnership-Celebrating an outstanding relationship between labour and United Way

Nominees:

  • United Food and Commercial Workers Local 175/633
  • Waterloo Regional Labour Council
  • Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario Waterloo Region and Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario Waterloo Region Occasional Teachers
  • Waterloo Regional Police Association
  • International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers local 636

Spirit of Community-honouring an individual or United Way committee whose efforts have raised awareness of the work of United Way

Nominees: 

  • Pumpkin Queen of Cambridge  , Kara Klypycz
  • Chris Prosser, The Literacy Group
  • John Neufeld, House of Friendship
  • Tracey Elop, Carizon
  • Julie Phillips, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Waterloo Region
  • Clarion Medical Technologies
  • Regional Municipality of Waterloo United Way Committee

Outstanding Workplace Campaign (Large Organization)

Nominees:

  • Sun Life Financial
  • Manulife
  • Royal Bank of Canada
  • KPMG LLP
  • Energy+ Inc.
  • Liquor Control Board of Ontario
  • Toyota Motor Manufacturing Canada

Outstanding Workplace Campaign (Small to Mid-Size Organization)

Nominees:

 

  • P&H Milling Group
  • Lackner McLennan Insurance Ltd. and Erb & Erb Insurance Brokers
  • Deluxe Payroll
  • KW Counselling Services
  • Langs 

Outstanding Volunteer Contribution 

Nominees:

  • Michael Schmitt and Deb Zettel-Schmitt
  • Lorraine Worth & Barb Jones
  • Jaye Kuntz
  • Norma McDonald-Ewing
  • Gore Hearts in Action
  • Deb Lindsay

Outstanding Agency

Nominees:

  • ACCKWA
  • The Literacy Group
  • Kinbridge
  • Carizon
  • Cambridge Self-Help Foodbank
  • Community Support Connections Meals on Wheels and More
  • YMCA

Focus on Volunteering: March 2018

Family Volunteering    

Kevin Sharpen and his son Noah are dedicated volunteers at Pinehurst Lake Park. It’s a home-away-from-home for their family. Every summer for over 15 years, their family trailer is parked at the small spring-fed lake north of Paris, Ontario for the season.

His grandparents have camped at Pinehurst every summer. Memories of the popular park fill his lifetime. Kevin has found many ways to give back and encourage others to engage in park stewardship. Once people are interested in volunteering, they are connected to GRCA Volunteer Coordinator, who helps to match interests and talents with volunteer positions.

“Most people who camp at Pinehurst come to know the staff. Kevin is no exception,” observes Pinehurst Superintendent Brad Straus. “But what sets him apart, is he never takes Pinehurst for granted. He and his family have a passion for this place and really appreciate what it offers. Kevin is unique because he doesn’t just think about why the park is special to him. He wants to share it with others. You can tell that his volunteer involvement is just something that feels right to him without even thinking about it.”

His involvement started gradually, as he encouraged Pinehurst staff to set up geocaches within the park, and he and his son did the same to make it a great place for geocaching.

Then, he initiated a new type of geocache for the park.  Instead of using an app or GPS to find a hidden container, Kevin enlisted help from family and friends to hold Cache in Trash Out (CITO) events at the park each spring just before it opened. At a CITO event, garbage is the find instead of a cache. This type of event is held by geocachers at many locations each year so they can improve the geocaching game board —which just happens to be our planet.

“For my son and I, geocaching is our favourite thing to do. We partnered with the staff at Pinehurst Lake to do CITO, a cleanup event for the past three years,” Sharpen explains.

During that time cleanup participants, including campers, the public and geocachers, have collected so much trash each year that it is becoming a little more difficult to find trash. Even the most concealed garbage is disappearing from the park.

This year on Sunday, April 29, the event is expanding to nearby Wrigley and Bannister Lakes which are also owned by the GRCA and managed by the staff at Pinehurst. People who would like to assist this year can find details and register online at www.grandriver.eventbrite.ca.

Kevin and his son have also hosted an introduction to geocaching activity at Discovery Day, an annual park event that welcomed around 2,000 people each year.

“Pinehurst Lake and surrounding trails are for everyone. Our goal is to create a sense of community among all visitors and Kevin shares this goal. Volunteer cleanups can make a big difference,” explains Straus.

“We know the park well, we’ve made friends here and we love the area. For us it’s giving back to the thing we love most,” Kevin says.

If you are part of a group that would like to hold a volunteer event at a GRCA property, learn about our volunteer program at www.grandriver.ca/volunteer.

To experience the benefits of volunteerism, like Kevin, search the online Volunteer Opportunities Database at https://volunteercambridge.cioc.ca/volunteer/  or call the Volunteer Centre at 519-621-1030, ext. 234.

What’s Next? The Needle and the Damage Done.

Just over a week ago, GenNext and United Way Waterloo Region Communities hosted “The Needle and the Damage Done”, an honest and frank discussion of the opioid issue in Waterloo Region and across the country.

You can see some coverage of the event broadcast on CTV.

More than 100 people attended the evening, which featured a half dozen panelists with an incredible array of information and experiences. Following the discussion, audience members were invited to ask their own questions, and many responded.

United Way Waterloo Region Communities is also responding, with the establishment of its Opioid Fund.

CEO Joan Fisk says the fund is the newest part of a changing United Way.  “It’s the first of our “targeted funding” solutions” says Fisk.   As issues change, Fisk says organizations such as United Way need to have the resources to be able to react.

“This fund is being established to invest in programs and services which will enhance and support prevention and education programs for young people”

She says some of those programs may already exist, or the funds could be used to support a new initiative which needs a firm footing.

It’s all part of what she calls a “more agile and responsive” United Way.   Donations to the opioid fund will be invested in the community within a few months.

Fisk says the organization has gone through an integration process over the past year, and emerged with a clear role.  “We are here” she says “to support the work of our partners through fundraising…..and through those programs to support people who need help in our region”

Fisk says other funds could also be created as needs emerge, but the Opioid Fund is the first for people who are looking to make a personal impact on an issue of immediate importance.

You can donate to the fund at this link   Please ensure you type the words OPIOID FUND in the comments box

If you have any questions, we will be happy to answer them at communications@uwaywrc,ca or via telephone at 888-6100