A crowd of over 200 supporters gathered at United Way’s SpiritFest last night to celebrate the Power of YOU – one by one individuals coming together as a movement to help change lives. The event showcased nominees and finalists for United Way’s annual Spirit Awards. With a goal focused on participation in 2015, United Way took the opportunity to say thank you to the 10,725 loyal donors and 2,000 additional participants who joined their fundraising efforts to deliver hope and possibility to those who need it most in Greater Victoria. Together this group of dedicated donors raised $5.5 Million.

The Spirit Award categories highlighted a range of companies, individuals and volunteers from over 300 workplaces that helped make United Way’s campaign a success. The awards included 15 categories, 88 nominees and 30 finalists. The award winners will be recognized at the Spirit Awards Luncheon on April 22 at the Fairmont Empress (tickets on sale at eventbrite). A full list of nominees and finalist can be viewed at SpiritAwards 2015.

“The citizens of Greater Victoria have stepped up yet again and demonstrated their commitment to building a strong and inclusive community,” says Patricia Jelinski, CEO at United Way. “With 79 years of experience behind us, we have seen a lot of change in our community, but the one thing that remains constant is people still face struggles in life. While many of us have a support system to help overcome those challenges – others need a helping hand. That’s why United Way was established and why it’s still relevant today.”

United Way’s 2015 campaign highlights include:

  • Connecting donors to the impact of their donations through new online resources: Impact Calculator uwgv.ca/my-impact and Make the Month makethemonth.ca/victoria
  • Increasing engagement opportunities through new partnerships – the month of February was dedicated to Raise the Red
  • Expanding donor directed gifts – aligning individual donors with projects they care about most in the community
  • Growing legacy opportunities through planned giving and bequests
  • 60% of all the money raised in workplaces this year came from unionized worksites

“Our 2015 campaign has been driven by innovation as we developed new meaningful ways of engaging our residents to better understanding the important investment United Way makes in our community. Acting as campaign Chair for two years means I can continue to advance the new initiatives and plans we started this past year. Building on these successes we aim to engage even more donors and change more lives in 2016,” says Bruce Williams, United Way Campaign Chair. “I’m sending a big thank you to all who invested their dollars, time and ideas in our campaign. Our volunteers and United Way staff have all worked very hard to ensure we assist as many people as possible. I look forward to reaching our goal of having 13,000 donors strong. Together, we are changing lives. Together, we are possibility”

The 2015 community campaign officially wraps up on March 31, 2016, however the final celebrations and recognition will take place at United Way’s Spirit Awards Luncheon on April 22 from 11am-1pm at the Fairmont Empress. Tickets can be purchased at uwspiritawards.eventbrite.ca.

United Way would like to thank LEAP (leapxd.com) for sponsoring their SpiritFest event on March 29.

Follow United Way on Twitter: @uwgv

-30-

For more information, please contact:

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 79 years we have served this community and raised over $155 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.