In 2017, United Way Greater Victoria marks 80 years of changing lives. To celebrate our 80th, we are listing 80 of our favourite things that are meaningful to United Way and showcase our impact in the community thanks to our volunteers, donors, funded partners and supporters.

80 of our favorite things:

1. Working together with the community. Three cheers to the over 400 workplaces/worksites, 500 volunteers and 10,000 donors that made our 80th such a great success!

2. Funding 109 programs and services that helped over 111,000 individuals, families, youth and children improve their lives. Now that’s an impact!

3. Helping UWGV’s committed, caring, and powerful network of services that link our community to the resources and supports that they need.

4. Moving to our downtown office close to our workplace and community partners.

5. Launching our 2nd annual Raise the Red month in February.

6. Partnering with Baggins Shoes to create our UWGV signature red Converse sneakers.

7. Partnering with the Royal BC Museum on our annual Raise the Red scavenger hunt and happy hour trivia nights.

8. Celebrating 211 day on Feb 11. Launching bc211.ca provincially in June and 2-1-1 phone and text across Vancouver Island in Sept with the help from 12 seed donors including $100,000 anonymous gift.

9. Recognizing Pink Shirt Day Feb 22 – let’s stop bullying in our schools, workplaces, homes and on the Internet.

10. Celebrating all our workplace campaign Spirit Award Nominees at our SpiritFest. Thanks to event sponsor Derma Spa!

11. Celebrating workplace campaign excellence at our Spirit Awards & our new award category Thanks a Million Club: Department of National Defence, Island Health, University of Victoria, Coast Capital Savings, RBC Royal Bank, City of Victoria, Camosun College, CIBC, TD Canada Trust, ESIT Advanced Solutions Inc. and Canada Revenue Agency.

12. Presenting the Chair’s Award of Distinction to Dave Wheaton from Wheaton Chevrolet Buick Cadillac GMC Ltd. Many thanks to Wheaton for providing our team with a campaign car!

13. High-fiving over 200 Employee Campaign Chairs that lead the charge each year – our workplace campaigns would not be such a success without them.

14. Honouring leadership donors. You might be surprised to know that of 7,746 donors who gave through a workplace campaign, 26% donated gifts of $1,200 or more!

15. Celebrating our 80th anniversary and our Red Feather donors at a special concert at UVic. Special thanks the event sponsor Berwick Retirement Communities.

16. Thanking our 80th Community Champion Partners: Wheaton GM, Derma Spa, GraphicFX, Chemistry Consulting and Coast Capital Savings.

17. Celebrating National Volunteer Week – a huge thank you to our over 500 volunteers in particular our board, campaign cabinet, labour committee, GenNext council and alumni for your commitment and dedication.

18. Thanking UWGV’s Review Panel Members and Impact Steering Committee that volunteer their time and considerable skills and experience to read through hundreds of grant applications and help inform funding decisions.

19. Recognizing our volunteers and our new honorary life members at our AGM: Peter Lockie, Past Chair of United Way Board of Directors and Past Campaign Chair Dr. Rebecca Grant to receive United Way Honorary Life Memberships

20. Hosting Dr. Jacline Nyman, President & CEO of United Way Centraide Canada in June to launch bc211.ca across the province, speak at our AGM and join local business leaders for lunch.

21. Having fun raising funds at the BC Ferries Annual Charity Golf Classic.

22. Welcoming our Campaign Associates who help us with our annual Community Campaign. Thank you University of Victoria, Island Health & BC Transit for loaning us your amazing staff!

23. Working in a united way with the Phillips Soda pop promotion and all the retail outlets who promoted pop that gives back: Save-on-Foods, Thrifty’s, Red Barn, Country Grocer, TruValue Foods and Quality Foods.

24. Being part of the United for BC Wildfire Recovery campaign with bc211. To date, over $150,000 has been raised.

25. Kicking off our 80th Community Campaign at The Bay Centre with our Be the ‘I’ in United contest! Thanks to event sponsors Victoria Labour Council & The Bay Centre with media support from The Q, The Zone, Ocean, Kiss, CTV, CFAX, KOOL, CHEK, Times Colonist, Black Press, and Shaw. Print and production support from Hot House Marketing, Graphic FX, Maximum Prototyping, and Eclipse Creative.

26. Announcing on the UN International Day of Older Persons that James Bay New Horizons and Silver Threads Services receive special funding to help isolated seniors thanks to UW donors John and Catherine Windsor. This gift is the largest single individual gift in our history.

27. Reflecting on 10 years ago, when Royal Roads University President Allan Cahoon issued a challenge to UVic and Camosun College to see who could run the top UWGV workplace campaign and take home the Post-Secondary Cup. To date, the three post-secondary institutions have raised over $6 Million!

28. Acknowledging that 60% of workplace donations raised for UWGV in 2016 came from unionized employers.

29. Making a long-term investment in the community: RBC, CIBC, TD and BMO showcased the Power of the Collective by participating in the 4th annual Financial Challenge.

30. Celebrating Giving Tuesday on Nov 28 by handing our special ‘U’ cookies at the Department of National Defence and in front of The Bay Centre.

31. Presenting the Generosity of Spirit award to John McEown at the National Philanthropy Day awards.

32. Feeling honoured to have met Ann & Zola Auld and thanking them for sharing their personal story.

33. Visiting Saanich Peninsula’s ȽAU, W̱ELṈEW̱ Tribal School to learn more about the PEPÁḴEṈ HÁUTW̱ nursery and being inspired by instructor PEPAḴIYE Ashley Cooper.

34. Showcasing our impact calculator uwgv.ca/my-impact to donors so they can see the impact their donation is making in the community.

35. Recognizing a new bequest plan from Anna Echols as part of our Legacy Circle.

36. Toasting donors Frank and Jo Mitchell on their 80th birthdays and their commitment to increasing their annual donation.

37. Collaborating with our amazing media and outdoor print partners who donated close to $1 Million of pro-bono services. Thank you for helping spread the word about the work we do!

38. Hosting the Be the ‘I’ in UNITED contest on the base at the Department of National Defence. #BravoZulu to all who participated!

39. Facilitating Employee Campaign Chair training with an impact tour of Bridges for Women.

40. High-fiving all of the elaborate, creative, and inspiring workplace campaign fundraisers:

41. Celebrating the innovative “Active Wear” campaign video by Island Health,

42. Singing along at CRA’s lip sync battle,

43. Keeping pace with the teams at UVic’s Amazing Race,

44. Tasting the delicious samosas as part of both BC Transit’s  and UVic’s campaigns,

45. Racing mini ducks at Royal Roads University,

46. Flipping pancakes for breakfast at Camosun College,

47. Competing in a fierce brownie competition and dodge ball for Halloween at the City of Victoria,

48. Sampling the Chili cook-off creations at Township of Esquimalt and BC Oil & Gas,

49. Participating in the balloon burst fundraiser at the Fairmont Empress, and

50. Seeing the end results of ESIT Advanced Solutions’ “dress up your leader” competition.

51. Recognizing dedication at its finest: King Bros. Limited is the longest running workplace campaign in our history.

52. Applauding our amazing community partner speakers who volunteer their talent and time to share their stories of hope and resilience with workplaces throughout campaign. You are truly inspiring!

53. Partnering with the City of Victoria and filmmaker Krista Loughton on a free screening of the documentary Us and Them at Victoria City Hall.

54. Thanking the workplaces who took part in our Days of Caring and offered their people power to agencies in need of volunteers.

55. Playing tribute to our valuable Board & Campaign Chairs alumni with a special reunion.

56. Helping kids be all they can be: Ron and May Lou-Poy dedicate a three-year pledge for children in our region.

57. Building up the community of Sooke with a special designated gift of $75,000 to help build a makerspace.

58. Presenting Business Person of the Year to Scott Burley from 2 Burley Men Moving Ltd. at the Victoria Chamber Awards.

59. Celebrating being stronger together with almost 30 years of partnership with the Canadian Labour Congress and our local Victoria Labour Council.

60. Paying tribute to our past organizational names: “Community Chest”, “Red Feather” & “United Appeal”.

61. Looking back at our first campaign in 1937 that raised $86,209. Since then, over $160 million has been raised to help our community’s most vulnerable people.

62. Zenning out with one downward dog at a time: yoga instructor Paula Carey donates $15,000 from her yoga classes to UWGV.

63. Giving back: after being inspired by an impact tour to Artemis Place, United Way donor Melanie Startek and her children hosted a party with 30 Glenlyon Norfolk School students to collect gifts for their student rewards program.

64. Experiencing Make the Month.ca – an online simulation that gives you the chance to walk in the shoes of a low income individual or family in the CRD.

65. Launching the Community Investment Carnival! A showcase we put on for staff and donors highlighting outreach tools that help people more deeply understand community challenges & ways they can help.

66. Convening UWGV’s Community Consultation that brought together representatives from a wide range of non-profit agencies to discuss and share their experiences and challenges within the social service sector.

67. Publishing the United to Reduce Poverty Report. UWGV joined with United Ways across Canada to contribute to Canada’s Poverty Reduction Strategy. Individuals and organizations were invited to anonymously share their experiences, thoughts, and possible solutions in regards to poverty within their communities. The published report can be found at uwgv.ca

68. Thanking our amazing funded community partners who offer support, mentorship, and care to single parents in Victoria.

69. Highlighting the amazing programs our community partners deliver throughout the year with the help of UWGV funding in our Community Investment Directory.

70. Thanking Neighbourhood Houses across the city that offer parenting courses, life-skills programs, access to healthy food, and newcomer support along with many other services!

71. Learning more about the Victoria Sexual Assault Centre Clinic: The first of its kind in BC, the Clinic provides survivors of sexual assault with access to medical and forensic exams, crisis support, police interviews, crown interviews, counseling services and other community supports in a compassionate, caring, and safe place that upholds everyone’s dignity.

72. Visiting the amazing community kitchens in town such as Rainbow Kitchen, Shelbourne Community Kitchen, and the Victoria Native Friendship Centre. With smiles and endless energy, these organizations offer warm meals and a place to sit down with friends to people in need within our city.

73. Being on the forefront of community issues as the first organization to fund AIDS VI AIDS Vancouver Island in 1988.

74. Hosting a record number of “Community Connections” bus tours to show donors the impact their gift is making in changing lives.

75. Participating in Project Community Connects in partnership with the Downtown Service Providers and The Bay Centre to help build awareness of the social and human services in our community.

76. Funding the expansion of the Street and Shelter Line to the CRD as part of bc211.

77. Providing our voice on the Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors as part of the executive committee and as a member-at-large.

78. Collaborating with Coalition to End Homelessness as a voice on various working groups.

79. Being an active member of the Downtown Service Providers

80. Looking ahead to 80 more years of improving lives and building community!