VICTORIA, BC – If you were to meet Chris Hancock in 2010, you might find him sitting in a bus shelter on Douglas Street, homeless, addicted and broke – not enough money to buy a bus ticket and with no particular place to go. In the space of five years, he had lost his home, his girlfriend, his family and his dream job due to his addiction to alcohol.

“I certainly wouldn’t be where I am today without United Way funded services. They helped me physically, mentally, financially and found me a place to live. They gave me my life back,” says Hancock. “Many people in our community don’t know how far-reaching the help of United Way is. They see the gaps that exist in services and provide funding to close them so people have access to a full continuum of care on their path of healing.”

Chris turned his life around thanks to a network of services funded by United Way. Chris is now an avid hiker, backpacker and snowboarder. He has a job at Umbrella Society that never fails to bring a smile to his face. He has a supportive family and feels connected to his community. All, in all, he’s one happy man.

You could make that same difference in someone’s life. With the giving season in full swing, United Way would like to encourage residents to think about the impact a donation can make in the lives of those less fortunate in our community. A gift to United Way, big or small, has a ripple effect. The power of one individual contribution combined with those of 11,000 other donors will change lives across our community.

United Way launched their community campaign in September with a target of 2,000 additional donors to join their movement to help change lives. To date, the call for participation has been resonating with workplace campaigns. However, there is still work to do to reach their goals.

Bruce Williams, Manager of Community and Client Relations at CTV Vancouver Island, has signed on as Campaign Chair for the next two years and introduced the participation target.

“By asking more people to participate with United Way as donors and community champions we know that will translate into financial returns. Our goal is to keep our loyal core of donors and engage 2,000 additional donors with our cause. Ultimately, we are focused on getting the campaign back to the $6 Million fundraising mark. We can’t do it alone and when you are considering your charitable donations this year, I hope United Way is high on your list,” says Williams.

Patricia Jelinski, CEO at United Way speaks to the impact a donation can make. “For as little as a dollar a day – you can help provide job search training and warm lunches to individuals in need. Thanks to the generosity of 11,000 donors, last year United Way and their community partners changed the lives of 80,000 individuals, families, children and youth,” says Jelinski. “Often people require more than one service to reach their full potential and we support a network of services that provide that hand up to people in need.”

Donations to United Way’s community campaign are accepted at workplaces, United Way’s office at 1144 Fort Street, via phone 250-385-6708 or online at uwgv.ca. Gifts of shares can be made by completing this form to save on capital gains on your 2015 tax return.To see additional information on the impact a donation to United Way can make, please visit uwgv.ca/my-impact.

Follow United Way on Twitter: @uwgv

Heather Skydt Director, Marketing and Communications
United Way
Work: (250) 984-2269
Email: heather@uwgv.ca

Patricia Jelinski,
CEO United Way
Work: (250) 220-7364
Cell: (250) 217-8698
Email: patricia.jelinski@uwgv.ca
BACKGROUND: United Way ‘unites’ the generosity of people – business, labour, government and individual donors – with the skills, knowledge and expertise in our community to help those in need. This collaborative approach is building a stronger, more resilient community to serve current and future                  generations.

As the region’s largest non-government funder, we assist charitable organizations by identifying and funding programs to address immediate needs and underlying causes of our community’s most pressing social challenges.

We are active in our community all year round through fundraising and community building, and provide multi-year funding to create a strong and stable network of services. For 78 years we have served this community and raised over $150 million. Our work, as a community leader, is as relevant today as it ever was. And with the ongoing support of our donors, we will continue to changes lives.

Together, We Are Possibility.