Winner of the Spirit of Generosity Award at this year’s National Philanthropy Day, John McEown is one of United Way Greater Victoria’s most dedicated volunteers and donors.

John is an exceptional philanthropist, communitarian, and leader. Along with offering his treasure as a major donor to many local charities, he has donated his time and talents through countless outreach hours to leverage efforts to make our region a better place to live.

As a United Way Red Feather member since 1948, John has donated significantly to the movement for almost 70 years in both Canada and the USA. He has volunteered with United Way Greater Victoria since 1994, and served on our Leaders’ Committee (1994-2013) and Major Gifts Cabinet (2013-2015) to help solicit major gifts.

His candor and willingness to engage and problem solve has supported United Way Greater Victoria in strategic planning, introductions to key community members, and speaking at workplaces about the impact of United Way support.

John continues to provide counsel on our major gift fundraising initiatives, most recently to host potential donors at his beloved Victoria Golf Club to inform them about our campaign to bring bc211 services to Vancouver Island – he is also one of the lead supporters.

John has applied this steadfast commitment to numerous other organizations he supports, by serving in leadership roles for their governance and fundraising. The community has truly benefited from his passion and involvement over the years, which is why United Way Greater Victoria was thrilled to learn he was nominated for the Spirit of Generosity Award – of which United Way Greater Victoria has been a long-time sponsor.

What motivates John? He strongly believes that “charitable organizations hold our community together and create a caring, and compassionate place”.

He is a gentle leader who walks the talk and inspires others. He takes time to research and make informed decisions about his philanthropy, and guides others to do the same.

Ultimately John wants to make true impact in the work of the charities he supports to help strengthen our region. As a result, he has earned the respect and gratitude of his peers, and impacted the lives of many in our community. Together with his wife Marvie, John continues to be devoted to helping our most vulnerable citizens through outstanding generosity and service.

Without a doubt John is one of United Way Greater Victoria’s biggest champions as a mentor, Philanthropist Circle donor and community ambassador. His giving nature knows no bounds, which is why he was honoured at National Philanthropy Day with the Spirit of Generosity Award. We are so proud to recognize his countless contributions and we salute John as a valued senior volunteer and supporter to many.