Working in a ‘United Way’ Greater Victoria Community Helps Change the Lives of Nearly 80,000 Individuals

VICTORIA, BC – Amazing things happen when people come together to support a network of social services in their community. Nearly 80,000 individuals were positively impacted thanks to the generosity of 11,000 donors according to United Way’s 2014 outcomes report. Over 90 non-profit services were available to help people in need because of the 500 worksites that ran United Way campaigns.

It takes everyone working together to address social issues facing the Greater Victoria community and United Way is proud to be a catalyst for change alongside other strong leaders. Today United Way celebrated the best of the best when it comes to philanthropic leadership at their annual Spirit Awards. The top honour – the Chair’s Award of Distinction was presented to Malcolm Barker, General Manager and Vice President of Seaspan Victoria Shipyards. Other Spirit Awards recipients included: National Research Council Canada (Naden Band Spirit of Excellence), RBC Royal Bank (Financial Challenge Cup), University of Victoria (Post Secondary Challenge), Victoria Shipyards (Outstanding Workplace Campaign) and HP Advanced Solutions and BCGEU 1201 (Labour Partnership).

“It is because of these individual and workplace champions that United Way raised $5.7 Million and that we are able to support a network of programs and services that assisted nearly 80,000 people in our community,” says Patricia Jelinski, CEO at United Way. “People in crisis often require more than one service to get the assistance they need to improve their lives. At United Way we work hard to ensure a continuum of services is available at all times for individuals, families, children and youth.”

An example of this United Way funded network in action is the support provided to a young woman who is having difficulty completing her high school education, possibly due to family distress, an unplanned pregnancy or conflict with the law. When seeking services, whether on her own or with counsellors or parents, she may find her education supported by Artemis Place Society which provides individual academic and life skills readiness. She may be facing other challenges such as housing (Boys & Girls Club), support to access financial assistance (Together Against Poverty Society), health issues (Island Sexual Health and Victoria Youth Clinic), and peer support programs (Youth Empowerment Society).

“This network of support wraps our student in a proverbial blanket, providing her with the warmth of our caring community as she navigates life’s challenges and begins to flourish. United Way plays an important role in keeping this network strong and stable. They are an essential component of our success,” says Rachel Calder, Executive Director Artemis Place Society.

Click here for our 2014 Outcomes Report

For more information, please contact:

Heather Skydt
Director, Marketing and Communications
United Way
Work: (250) 984-2269

Patricia Jelinski, CEO
United Way
Work: (250) 220-7364
Cell: (250) 217-8698

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 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.