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




United Way maintains community funding.

“We care, because you care.”

United Way begins work towards reinvigorating our community.

(Waterloo Region) –February 9, 2018

One year after integrating into a region wide United Way, the CEO is pledging a new era of transparency, accountability and co-operation.

Speaking to more than 30 United Way partner agencies earlier this week, Joan Fisk said:

“Our strength, relies on your strength, and we are committed to helping you provide the services people need to escape from poverty in our region”

United Way Waterloo Region Communities set a goal to raise 7 million dollars this fiscal year.  Fisk says the community has already collected more funds this year than last, with more coming in every day. However there remains a significant gap to bridge in order to meet that goal.

In addition, Board Chair Mike Williams is pleased to announce United Way will maintain the current level of funding to the community.

Six months after taking over as CEO, Fisk says United Way is positioning itself toward the future.

United Way remains the largest funder of social service programs outside of government in Canada.

“That reminds us “says Fisk, “of how critical it is to re-introduce ourselves”

In the next few months, she adds, United Way WRC will be rolling out a new and unique message.

“We have a very ambitious goal “says Fisk.   “We plan to raise 10 million dollars in 2019”

This goal will enhance support for the important programs our partners are currently providing, as well as bolstering programs with targeted funds on specific issues.

“Our government does so much” adds Fisk, “but the capacity at all levels is limited”

Board Member Ingrid Pregel puts it this way “At the end of the day, If not United Way, then who?”