“Your donation is an investment in very significant work.”

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Incoming Campaign Chair Colin Ryan asks everyone to reach out and ask others to give now.

More than 300 Winnipeggers gathered at The MET on Friday to celebrate United Way’s Sponsored Executives, hear about the value of agencies providing job and money management skills help, and get inspired to do more as the 2016 campaign heads into the final laps.

This year 37 Sponsored Executives were loaned or sponsored by generous organizations to help workplaces during the 14-week campaign period. Without them the sustained, annual funding that 100 United Way agency partners depend on would not be possible.

The 2016 Sponsored Executives

The 2016 Sponsored Executives

Shannon Leppky, Vice President of Human Resources at event sponsor MPI, talked about the benefits to her organization that comes from loaning Sponsored Executives to help workplaces during United Way’s campaign.

“I’ve watched our employees return to their positions after their 14-week terms more confident, productive, and skilled. But most of all they’ve returned inspired.”

“Without a doubt, the Sponsored Executive program has become one of the cornerstones of our robust leadership development program at MPI,” said Shannon, adding MPI loaned four employees to the 2016 campaign.

Shawn Mahoney, executive director at United Way agency partner Opportunities for Employment, which helps people experiencing barriers to employment prepare for the workforce in a myriad of ways, described the profound benefits our community experiences when more people are working and financially independent.

He shared a story of a young man – an ex-offender – who cried after receiving a new suit and other help to successfully find a job at a critical time to keep his life stable and stay away from crime.

Shawn Mahoney

Shawn Mahoney

“For this guy there is no plan B. He’s not moving back to his parents’ basement…we calculated he had about two weeks to get a job and become self-sufficient.”

“I believe, honestly, that your donation is not a donation. Your donation is an investment in some significant, very very, significant work that you can all be proud of.”

Colin Ryan, the incoming United Way Campaign Chair, reminded guests that to help over 11,000 more people we all need to do more.

Colin Ryan asks us all to do more so we can help more.

Colin Ryan asks us all to do more so we can help more.

“Remember that we need to raise at least $20 million this year just to maintain the vital network of support we already make possible.”

Hundreds of workplace campaigns are still running, Colin said, and the urgency now to dig deep is real.

“I’m thrilled to share that Winnipeggers everywhere – that YOU – have already generated $16.4 million! Congratulations! You should feel very proud.”

To reach the goals laid out in the Three Years to a Better Winnipeg plan to help over 11,000 more kids and families we need to come together to grow the campaign by 15%, Colin said.

“To those who’ve already given a gift, thank you again.

To those who haven’t yet made your gift or have never given, please make this the moment. Be a part of something truly bigger than any of us – something that unites us in goodness and a commitment to Winnipeg and all who live here.

I’d like to challenge each of us here to look into our own networks – our own lives – and identify one person we know doesn’t give to United Way. Let’s identify them, and then make it our mission to tell them why being involved is important to you, and invite them to join you by making a donation.”