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

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.”

Spence Street Thrift Shop is reborn

The Spence Street Thrift Shop is welcoming shoppers in the West End again after a three-week closure for renovations.

“We did some new paint, new colour, we updated the flooring and made the store more efficient and the racks are more enticing,” said Thrift Shop Coordinator Kristy Muckosky on Monday at a reopening celebration and ribbon-cutting.

Thrift Shop coordinator Kristy Muckosky, left, and PFSS executive director Rhonda Elias-Penner cut a ribbon to mark the shop reopening.

Thrift Shop coordinator Kristy Muckosky, left, and PFSS executive director Rhonda Elias-Penner cut a ribbon to mark the shop reopening.

The Thrift Shop, located at Sargent Ave. and Spence St., helps support Pregnancy and Family Support Services (PFSS) – a neighbourhood family centre and United Way agency partner that provides respite daycare, family counselling, parenting classes and monthly emergency food and baby-supply services. United Way hopes to offer 2800 more Winnipeggers a chance to access this kind of help close to home at their local family centres by 2019.

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“Thank you everybody for all the support. We know that this renovation is going to go a long way to not only generating more support and income for the Thrift Shop and the organization, but also just comfort and safety and dignity for the people that are coming here and not feeling like they’re shopping in a dungeon,” said PFSS executive director Rhonda Elias-Penner.

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PFSS board member and long-time United Way volunteer Bonnie Macdonell said the shop also provides work and volunteer opportunities for community members.

“There’s opportunities through programs United Way has sponsored for members of our multi-national community to have a chance to work and gain experience at the shop,” Bonnie said.

PFSS board chair Bonnie Macdonell has volunteered to help guide the direction and impact of United Way agency partners for 20 years.

PFSS board chair Bonnie Macdonell has volunteered to help guide the direction and impact of United Way agency partners for 20 years.

Kristy said the shop, which is celebrating 30 years in the community, had not seen any significant renovations in about 20 years.

2016 is the 30th anniversary of the Thrift Shop - a great excuse for some cake!

2016 is the 30th anniversary of the Thrift Shop – a great excuse for some cake!

She expressed gratitude to the Richardson Foundation and United Way for their support through the Essential Needs Fund, without which the renovations could not have happened.

“They didn’t just buy materials, they helped create a calming space for people to come in every day and socialize and feel safe and uplifted.”

Investors Group provided $7,000 for new security cameras, Home Depot gave them some generous discounts, and Spark – a service of the Canadian Economic Development Network that matches professionals who want to donate their skills and time to community development projects – found an interior designer who helped Kristy navigate the maze of suppliers.

Important on-the-ground help came from Great-West Life employees volunteering their sweat equity during United Way Days of Caring. Employees spent two days painting, sorting, cleaning, and moving heavy things.

Kristy, left, chats with four Great-West Life Day of Caring volunteers at the celebration.

Kristy, left, chats with four Great-West Life Day of Caring volunteers at the celebration.

“There were a couple of men who came in and said ‘make us do heavy lifting, we want to work’ and I said ‘perfect’,” said Kristy.

Great-West Life employee Trudy Lanouette came out with three co-workers and fellow Day of Caring volunteers on Monday for the ribbon-cutting.

“It was great how they explained how this helps the community and the family centre next door,” said Trudy.

“It was quite neat to see everything that the United Way is involved in.”

Great-West Life is one of  many workplaces whose employees volunteer to help community organizations through United Way Days of Caring to complete short-term projects that require a little extra people power.

“It’s a great time. It is nice to come out with our co-workers and give back to the community,” said Trudy.

“It’s a great team-building experience as well as being able to help.”

Ready for your Christmas shopping needs!

Ready for your Christmas shopping needs!

The Spence Street Thrift Shop is open Tuesday to Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. except during long weekends.

Setting the pace for a better Winnipeg

Thank you to Winnipeg organizations and workplaces for pledging early support and completing your workplace campaigns. You set the pace!

United Way's September 15, 2016 kickoff at Hugh John Macdonald School marked the beginning of the Three Years for a Better Winnipeg plan to bring more help to over 11,000 more people.

United Way’s September 15, 2016 kickoff at Hugh John Macdonald School marked the beginning of the Three Years for a Better Winnipeg plan to bring more help to over 11,000 more people.

Every year some workplaces complete their United Way campaigns before the official kickoff in September. Many organizations and companies follow that trend by pledging a corporate donation before the kickoff. Together they help set the pace towards a successful campaign – especially important this year as we launch the Three Years for a Better Winnipeg plan to help over 11,000 more people!

So, to the following workplaces and organizations we salute you as Corporate and Workplace Pacesetters and say: thank you!

Corporate Pacesetters

Akman Construction Ltd.
Akman Management Ltd.
Alliance Investment Manitoba Inc
Antex Western Ltd.
Apotex Fermentation Inc.
Arlington Auto Body Ltd.
Assiniboine Credit Union
Associate Design
Atlas-Graham Industries Co. Ltd.
Bayer CropScience
Bee Maid Honey Ltd.
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Birchwood Automotive Group
Bison Transport Inc.
Blind Ambitions
Boeing Canada, Winnipeg
Casera Credit Union
Caisse Financial Group
Cambrian Credit Union
CanadaDrugs.com
Canadian Linen and Uniform Service Inc.
Cansys West Ltd.
CanTalk Canada Inc.
Cargill Limited
CFA Winnipeg
Champs Food Systems Ltd.
Chinese Universal Enterprises Inc.
Colliers International
Concentra Financial
Corrett Marketing Limited
CR Home Designs
Crestview Veterinary Hospital
Crosstown Dental Laboratory Ltd.
Cunningham Business Interiors Ltd.
Custom Truck Sales (Man.) Ltd.
Cycles Lambert Inc.
D & L Concrete Products Ltd.
Datum Builders (1998) Ltd.
Dimatec Inc.
Donald B. Holdings Ltd.
Drive Line Services
Emergent BioSolutions
Entegra Credit Union
Euro-Graph (1988) Inc.
Family Optical
Farm Business Consultants
Filles de la Croix
FloForm Countertops
Fort Rouge and Imperial Veterans Branch No. 252 of the Royal Canadian Legion
Geo. H. Young & Co. Ltd.
Glenwood Draperies Ltd. & Interiors
Graphic Packaging International
Great-West Life, London Life, and Canada Life
Gunn’s Bakery
Hechtcorp Holdings Inc.
Hershey Canada Inc.
Industrial Investments Ltd.
Inlett Inc.
Investors Group
Jade Enterprises Inc.
James Richardson & Sons, Limited and Affiliated Companies:
– Richardson International Limited
– Tundra Oil & Gas Limited
– Richardson Financial Group Limited
– Richardson GMP Limited
– Richardson Capital Limited
– Richardson Centre Limited
– Wynward Insurance Group
Jardins St-Léon Gardens
Johnson Waste Management Ltd.
Johnston Group Inc.
Ladco Company Limited
LanBro Inc.
Manitoba Blue Cross
Manitoba Federation of Labour
Manitoba Hydro
Manitoba Liquor and Lotteries
Manitoba Pork Council
Manitoba Public Insurance
Maple Leaf Construction Ltd.
Margolis Capital Group Inc.
Maxim Truck & Trailer
McNally Robinson Booksellers
Midwest Engineering Ltd.
Monsanto Canada Inc.
Murray Chevrolet
National Leasing
New Flyer Industries Canada ULC
North End Weather Stripping/Newco Corp.
Old Dutch Foods Ltd.
Party Stuff/U-Rent-It
Payworks Inc.
PCL Constructors Canada Inc.
Philip Kahanovitch & Co.
Pollard Banknote Limited
Qualico Developments
RBC Convention Centre Winnipeg
Rigby Medical Corporation
Rohl Enterprises Ltd.
Russell Food Equipment Ltd.
Saikel Studio
Saper Agencies Ltd.
Shell Financial Services
Starbuck All Charities Inc
Stewart Trophies & Engraving Ltd.
The Forks North Portage Partnership
To-le-do Foodservice
United Rentals
Victoria Inn Hotel & Convention Centre
Viterra
W. J. Christie & Co. Ltd.
Warkov-Safeer Leather Ltd.
Wawanesa Mutual Insurance Company & Wawanesa Life Insurance Company
Winnipeg Airports Authority Inc.
Winpak Ltd.
Workers Compensation Board of Manitoba
YRC Worldwide Inc.

Workplace Pacesetters

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Birchwood Automotive Group
Boys & Girls Clubs of Winnipeg
Cambrian Credit Union
Casera Credit Union
City of Winnipeg Charitable Fund
Community Unemployed Help Centre
FloForm Countertops
James Richardson & Sons, Limited and Affiliated Companies:
– Richardson International Limited
– Tundra Oil & Gas Limited
– Richardson Financial Group Limited
– Richardson GMP Limited
– Richardson Capital Limited
– Richardson Centre Limited
– Wynward Insurance Group
Johnston Group Inc.
Macdonald Youth Services
Online Business Systems
Payworks Inc.
PCL Constructors Canada Inc.
Pitblado Law
Provincial Government Employees’ All Charities Campaign
Rehabilitation Centre for Children
Telenium, Inc.
The North West Company
Transportation Safety Board of Canada
United Way Winnipeg

A better Winnipeg includes all its citizens

On Tuesday United Way Winnipeg and the Manitoba Islamic Association co-hosted an open house to celebrate Islamic History Month and an exhibit in United Way’s atrium that features the history and contributions of Muslims in our province.

The 8-panel exhibit being shown in United Way's atrium features the history and contributions of Muslims in Manitoba.

The 8-panel exhibit being shown in United Way’s atrium features the history and contributions of Muslims in Manitoba.

Marilyn McLaren, volunteer chair of United Way’s Board, brought greetings and put the exhibit in perspective.

“We have many people from many walks of life come through these doors every day, and we know that this is one small thing that we at United Way can to do help educate and help build a story of inclusiveness, and we’re really pleased to collaborate with you in doing that.”

“None of us can go it alone, we cannot do this without each other, and the more we can build partnerships and build relationships the better we all are.”

Dr. Idris Elbakri, President of the Manitoba Islamic Association, talked about the privilege and sense of connectedness he felt going through his association’s archives to help create the 8-panel exhibit.

Dr. Idris Elbakri, President of the Manitoba Islamic Association.

Dr. Idris Elbakri, President of the Manitoba Islamic Association.

“Our history as a community is part of Canada’s history, we are part of the Canadian story and that’s something we should be proud of.”

October is Islamic History Month, and the theme this year is Muslim Contributions – Enriching Canada.

Each October since 2014 United Way has partnered with a local Muslim organization to celebrate Islamic History Month with an exhibit in our main floor atrium at 580 Main Street. The exhibit is open to the public all month from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday to Friday.

Learn more about the exhibit and take a virtual tour of the panels at www.miaonline.org/islamic-history-month-2016

Video of Monday’s event can be seen online here.

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Breakfast focused on youth mental health, campaign progress

$7.5 million raised by generous Winnipeggers so far, over $20 million needed

On Friday 200  Winnipeggers gathered at Robert A. Steen Community Centre for breakfast and to learn more about the importance of connecting Winnipeg youth with mental health supports – one of four community priorities in United Way’s Three Years for a Better Winnipeg plan.

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The plan, created in consultation with Winnipeggers, commits to continuing to support all the programs and services made possible through United Way, while going further over the next three years to help an additional 11,000 kids and families get help in the areas of youth mentorship, mental health supports for young people, job skills and money management training, and help for families at neighbourhood family centres.

Griffin Jenkins, director of education and youth programming at Mood Disorders Association of Manitoba, and Alex Moore, a youth who has participated in the Rock Camp for kids dealing with mood disorders, played some musical numbers for guests. Griffin, 19, also shared his journey through mental illness as a youth.

Griffin Jenkins, on guitar, director of education and youth programming at Mood Disorders Association of Manitoba, and Alex Moore, a youth who has participated in the Association’s Rock Camp for kids dealing with mood disorders, played some musical numbers for guests. Griffin, 19, also shared his journey through mental illness as a youth.

Campaign Chair Neil Besner shared progress in the campaign thus far, and gave an important reminder.

“I’m pleased to share that Winnipeggers have already generated $7.5 million – a good start, but remember we still have a long way to go,” said Neil.

“To achieve our goals, we’ll need to grow our campaign by 15 per cent over the next three years.

Last year, we raised more than $20 million. That means we need to raise that much this year just to maintain the amount of help we already help make possible.

We must start this year – right now in fact! We know how many more kids and families we want to support over the next three years, and we also know there are kids and families that need help right now as we speak.”

Neil Besner announced the United Way campaign progress, and asked everyone to give more, and work hard to raise more so over 11,000 more Winnipeggers can get help.

Neil Besner announced the United Way campaign progress, and asked everyone to give more, and work hard to raise more so over 11,000 more Winnipeggers can get help.

“I’m asking each and every one of you here, if you’ve never given before, make this the time you start. If you already give – thank you – please consider giving even a little bit more. And let’s all encourage those we know to join us in getting involved also.

There’s room for all of us in this. It doesn’t matter how big or small your gift is. EVERY gift – every dollar – you give will help change someone’s life.”

You can help change a life today – make a gift at UnitedWayWinnipeg.ca/give-now or call 204-477-UWAY (8929)

Plane Pull 2016 bigger than ever!

More Winnipeggers than ever  pulled planes at United Way’s 13th Annual Plane Pull!

Plane Pull 2016 brought out almost 2000 people and 78 teams of pullers – a record number showing their support for our city.

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Nearly $50,000 was raised, all of it going to create more mentors for kids, one of the four priority areas in United Way’s new Three Years for a Better Winnipeg plan.

Victor Golondrina, 19, moved the crowd with a story of mentorship in his life. His mom, a “strong and resilient woman,” struggled with poverty and mental health issues as she raised him and his four siblings. He found positive role models at his local Boys and Girls Clubs of Winnipeg, and today is a mentor to young kids at another United Way agency – West Broadway Youth Outreach.

Victor Golondrina

Victor Golondrina

“They gave me hope, and now I am giving it back…and United Way has been there every step along the way.”

Thank you to all the teams and plane pullers who came out to pull for a better Winnipeg!

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Payworks was the Top Fundraising team with an amazing $7343.71 raised, while Top Individual Fundraisers were Shaun Hauser, $3200.00; Trevor MacHutchon, $1650.00; Raj Misir, $1052.77; Earl Holden, $925.00; and Lauren Slusky: $824.00.

The Team Spirit award was taken down by Winnipeg Airport Authority.

Also note there is STILL TIME TO FUNDRAISE and win some amazing prizes! You have until Friday, September 30 at 4 p.m. to qualify for a super sweet Rocky Mountain trip. Fundraise to earn extra chances to win this incredible prize courtesy of VIA Rail and Shelter Canadian Properties Ltd. Friday, September 30 at 4pm is also the cut-off to claim your limited edition Plane Pull hat ($50+ fundraisers), or hoodie AND hat ($150+).

Team Steam awards for fastest pull times were Standard Aero, who pulled the water bomber 20 feet in a smoking 5.65 seconds, and the Canad Inns team who flew the Boeing 727 in 8.75 seconds. See all results below.

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Congratulations to everyone and thank you for making it a great day, and a special thank you to Red River College and their Stevenson Campus for their hard work and hospitality again this year!

PLANE PULL RESULTS:

CL-215 Water Bomber

United Way Winnipeg Cabinet 7.85
17 Wing 6.21
Winnipeg Airport Authority 5.68
Birchwood Automotive Group 6.13
Canada Revenue Agency-Tax Center 5.91
Richardson International 6.78
Manitoba Hydro 5.85
MNP LLP 7.22
PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP 6.43
Deloitte 7.07
HSC 8.00
WRHA 7.60
Johnston Group Inc. 7.69
Manitoba Blue Cross 7.25
Unifor 6.40
Great-West Life 6.19
Wawanesa 6.56
Payworks 7.18
MPI 6.81
Royal Canadian Mint 6.03
Manitoba Institute of Trades & Technology 7.03
RBC Royal Bank 6.63
Taylor McCaffrey 7.94
RCMP D Division 8.66
Province of Manitoba 7.28
E-Health 6.44
Red River College 6.66
Calm Air 7.57
Magellan Aerospace 7.32
StandardAero 5.65
Bridgeport 7.03
Online Business Systems 6.69
Color Ad Packaging 9.41
Pollard Banknote Ltd 6.40
Winpak Ltd. 6.88
AON Reed Stenhouse Inc 6.78
Scotia Bank 8.25
Cambrian Credit Union 6.97
Agency 7.31
GenNext 7.00
AON Team 2 6.56
United Way 7.50
Winnipeg Sun 7.07
Toromont Cat 6.78
Canad Inns, fastest on the Boeing 727.

Canad Inns, fastest on the Boeing 727.

Boeing 727

Bisons – U of M Football Team 10.09
MTS 11.84
AAA Security 12.56
EPIC 9.53
MPI – HR Division 10.75
Canad Inns 8.75
North West Company 9.97
Boeing Canada 10.31
Calm Air Team #2 11.13
Manulife Financial 11.16
The Victoria Inn Hotel & Convention Centre 13.32
Tundra Oil & Gas 12.12
CIBC 10.47
National Bank Financial 10.28
Diagnostic Services of Manitoba 11.25
Manitoba Liquor & Lotteries 10.93
National Leasing 10.50
Fed Ex Canada 10.38
Quintex Services Ltd. 10.88
GHY International Ltd. 10.12
New Flyer 11.47
PCL Constructors Canada Inc. 10.50
MMM Group 12.38
Cargill 11.81
17 Wing 9.56
Red River College 10.25
University of Winnipeg 10.16
Princess Auto 10.66
Workers Compensation Board of Manitoba 10.59
Ma Mawi Wi Chi Hata Centre Inc. 8.97
CAA Manitoba 11.41
Labour 9.37
Monarch Industries 10.19
Grace General Hospital 11.72

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