SMS Engineering shares their generous spirits.

SMS Engineering’s United Way workplace campaign was an event-filled week.

The Winnipeg-based engineering firm, which shares a birthday with United Way (happy 50th anniversary, SMS!), began their workplace campaign last week by hosting United Way agency speaker Denise Allard.

Denise is a client and volunteer with CNIB, and an advocate for people with disabilities.

“She told a fascinating story of her life. It was really good,” said SMS’s employee campaign chair and engineer-in-training Andrew Schinkel.

The SMS United Way campaign committee, from left, Sheila, Bridget, Andrew, and Jason, with breakfast.

The SMS United Way campaign committee, from left, Sheila, Bridget, Andrew, and Jason, with breakfast.

The week included events and activities like a Ukrainian lunch and putting green and basketball contests, and ended with a full breakfast Friday with bacon, pancakes, fruit and all the fixings.

“SMS has been a big supporter of United Way,” said Sponsored Executive Tamara Borgesen Kaminsky, who was interested to learn that SMS was involved in the design of United Way’s Main Street building.

Sponsored Executives Zoran, Enisty, and Tamara with Ukrainian deliciousness.

United Way Sponsored Executives Zoran, Enisty, and Tamara with Ukrainian deliciousness.

Andrew was pleased with the participation of his co-workers.

“Ultimately it’s to give back to the community. To help others.”

Thank you, SMS, and happy birthday!

Bridget on bacon duty!

Bridget on bacon duty!

Sponsored Executives Evelyn and Curtis helping get breakfast served.

Sponsored Executives Evelyn and Curtis helping get breakfast served.

Big, possibly heavy changes at Plane Pull 12!

It had to happen sometime. The DC9 has been retired!

Planning—and planing—has begun for Plane Pull 2015, an extra special event because this is United Way’s 50th anniversary in Winnipeg.


And now, with news of the retirement of our beloved “fun pull” DC9 aircraft, we’re dreaming up something heavy for this year’s pull on September 18. That’s all we can say for now; you’ll have to come pull to see what it might be!

It’ll be hard to top last year’s Plane Pull 11, which set amazing new records for both participation and fundraising.

DLittle Photo Dec 4 2014 0068 (3)

Sponsored Executives at their “graduation,” including MTS’ Angela Casey, far right, the overall top fundraiser at Plane Pull 2014.

Angela Casey from MTS, one of our many valued Sponsored Executives, personally raised $1035 for the event, going far above and beyond her already busy schedule! It’s dedication and enthusiasm like that that makes Plane Pull so much fun and so important in the work towards a better Winnipeg.

Workplace of the Week: Carbone Coal Fired Pizza warms up 700 little hands.

Carbone Coal Fired Pizza’s Joe Paletta & Benjamin Nasberg hoped to raise enough money at their two Carbone Pizza locations to buy 50 new youth-sized mitts for Winnipeg kids.

Carbone Coal Fired Pizza donates 350 pairs of mitts to Koats for Kids!

350 pairs later, they’ve been delighted with the warm response to their request for $5 donations from customers and staff to help pay for each pair.

“There’s something about Winnipeggers – we know how cold it gets and we want to help kids stay warm,” Paletta says.

All kinds of warm-hearted people got in on the $5 request. Downtown bartender Cam Craig bought a pair of mitts every single shift he worked in the month of January.

Cam Craig, generous bartender!

Cam Craig, generous bartender. Photos by Carbone Coal Fired Pizza.

Sean at Still Cove Wine donated 20 pairs, and Carbone’s friend Michael Nugent bought 100 pairs!Carbone Donation Wall



It took only a day and half to reach 200 pairs, because Winnipeggers just can’t resist lending a (warm) helping hand. All told Carbone Coal Fired Pizza was able to rustle up 350 pairs of new mitts from Richlu.


Mitts are always welcome at Koats for Kids, as children tend to lose them, rip them, and go through more than one pair in a season.

$20.4 million raised by Winnipeg, for Winnipeg.

A record-setting $20.4 million was donated by generous Winnipeggers this year. All of that money will be invested directly into our community, strengthening Winnipeg families, helping people make connections and feel included, offering them the chance to gain skills and have their voices heard.

Celebration 2015 - 20 Million Reveal

Tremendous thanks to the thousands of donors, volunteers, partners, sponsors and everyone who made it all happen. Our city is better because of you!

Here’s Michael Champagne, activist & long-time friend of United Way, sharing inspiration at our Celebration evening.

We were also treated to the Rossbrook Rockers. Rossbrook House is a critical drop-in centre for inner city children.

Rossbrook Rockers

“United Way is about making this a better place for everyone. It’s not about a hand out, it’s about a hand up.”
—Sandra Oakley, 2014 Campaign Chair

Workplace of the Week: Community spirit growing at Manitoba Harvest Hemp Foods.

Manitoba Harvest Hemp Food’s United Way campaign is growing!

We’re profiling this enthusiastic company for their passion and their strong growth.

We talked to the good folks at Manitoba Harvest about how seriously they take giving back to their community. Just look at them; you can tell they’re serious.

Iron Man Selfies at Manitoba Harvest Hemp Foods.

Manitoba Harvest Hemp Food’s kitchen taken over by Iron Man, ghouls & some sort of wizard…for United Way, of course!

United Way: Why is Manitoba Harvest so committed to giving back to Winnipeg?

 Manitoba Harvest Hemp Foods: At Manitoba Harvest Hemp Foods we believe in the “triple bottom line” approach – people, planet, and profits.

Giving back to our community in various ways is not just imperative to our corporate culture, it is an honour!

The community is so supportive of our company, giving back is a way to show our appreciation.

UW: Why did you choose United Way to give back to your community?

MHHF: We choose to support United Way because we share in the belief that we’re all connected and should be working together to educate, empower, and inspire action.

United Way’s focus on strengthening sustainable interdependent programs and addressing underlying causes really struck a chord with us.

Education is hugely important to us so seemed like a perfect it to partner with an organization that emphasizes building knowledge as a core strategy.


UW: How did you manage to get so many more of your staff participating in your United Way campaign this year?

MHHF: We’ve already exceeded our campaign goals—which is truly a sign of how generous and kind-hearted our team is.

The organizing committee included members from all departments to ensure the entire team was represented and helped towards widespread engagement. They did a fantastic job in making the campaign fun and inclusive.

One of the highlights was our wrap up Halloween costume party. The company generously brought in catered lunch while we played games and held a silent auction with all proceeds going to the United Way.