VICTORIA, BC – The 2015 United Way community campaign needs YOU. This year’s campaign target is focused on participation, engaging more of the residents across the Capital Regional District in an effort to support our region’s most vulnerable citizens, address social issues and create measurable change.

“We know the more people we engage with our cause the more successful the campaign will be,” says Patricia Jelinski, CEO United Way Greater Victoria. “Over the years we have had tremendous support in the region and last year over 11,000 donors joined with us to help build a stronger community. One by one these donors made a difference and that demonstrates The Power of YOU as part of something much bigger when aligning with United Way. We want people to understand that if they join with us, if they join with others under the United Way movement, we can accomplish great things together for our community and our citizens.”

In 2014, United Way donors made it possible to fund over 100 programs that provided support to 80,000 people in the region. In 2015, we are funding 111 programs through our three priority areas: All That Kids Can Be, From Poverty to Possibility and Strong Communities as well as our Youth/Community in Action initiative.

Bruce Williams, Manager of Community and Client Relations at CTV Vancouver Island, on-air TV host of Foodie Fridays, and host of Café Victoria on CFAX 1070, has signed on as campaign chair for the next two years and he is excited by the introduction of a participation target.

“The participation target is a departure from United Way’s annual public announcement of a financial goal, and of course the campaign is about fundraising, however by making our call to action one of participation we will be engaging people on many levels,” says Williams. “We want people to learn more about United Way, to learn more about the needs in our community, we want our donors to engage someone new in the campaign. Can you imagine if every one of our 11,000 donors found one new individual to participate? That is the Power of YOU which is our 2015 campaign theme. Please join us – get involved in your workplace campaign, partner with us on an event, donate online or work with our individual giving team to support the campaign. There is strength in numbers and we are hoping to add 2,000 additional donors in 2015.”

Donations to United Way’s 2015 community campaign are accepted at workplaces, United Way’s office at 1144 Fort Street, via phone 250-385-6708 or online at uwgv.ca.

United Way would like to thank Victoria Labour Council for sponsoring their Make Your Mark event at Centennial Square on Sept 16.

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For more information, please contact:

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

Patricia Jelinski, CEO
United Way
Work:(250)220-7364
Cell:(250)217-8698
Email:patricia.jelinski@uwgv.ca

BACKGROUND: United Way is a year-round fundraiser and community funder working to address the immediate needs of our most vulnerable citizens, while also creating long-term strategies to target the root causes of social issues. We have a strong history in Greater Victoria – over 78 years and $149 million dollars raised. As the region’s largest non-government funder, we are one of the few organizations to provide multi-year and core funding to ensure we support a strong and stable network of services. We work collaboratively, in a “united way” bringing business, labour, government, the non-profit sector and donors together to build a strong and caring community. Together, We Are Possibility.

Thanks to donor participation investment highlights include:

• ALL THAT KIDS CAN BE: A drop-in program that provides a safe place and warm food for homeless youth through Victoria Youth Empowerment Society’s Alliance Club

• FROM POVERTY TO POSSIBILITY : A job search training program that assists individuals in finding employment through Victoria Cool Aid’s REES Employment and Support Program

• STRONG COMMUNITIES: A peer support group for individuals to overcome mental health and/or addiction challenges through Umbrella Society’s Peer Outreach Program

• COMMUNITY TABLES: In collaboration with the Eldercare Foundation, United Way is bringing service providers working with seniors together to identify the needs, gaps and opportunities to reduce isolation among this vulnerable population. This input will inform United Way’s funding priorities for senior initiatives in 2015/16.