Congratulations to the 2012 Spirit Award winners!

More than 1100 amazing organizations and thousands of employees support a United Way workplace campaign each year. While each and every one is a vital part of our overall success, some stand out for innovation, creativity and commitment. United Way’s annual Spirit Awards celebrate and recognize these individuals and organizations!

2012 Best in Show

Best in Show is all about the spirit of participation and the amazing and creative ways our campaign committees inspire it.  Nominees from Transport Canada – Prairie & Northern Region and Tundra Oil and Gas Partnership were spirited competitors, but the final prize went to Manitoba Public Insurance for their Be a Champion! campaign! Congratulations!

United Way Spirit Awards - Best in Show 2012 Winners Manitoba Public Insurance


2012 Workplace Canvasser Awards

The University of Winnipeg and the University of Manitoba – Extended Education captured these awards by inspiring involvement in their workplaces.

University of Winnipeg - United Way Winnipeg Spirit Awards - Workplace Canvasser Awards winners

University of Winnipeg – Workplace Canvasser Awards winners

University of Manitoba - United Way Winnipeg Spirit Awards - Workplace Canvasser Awards winners

University of Manitoba Extended Education – Workplace Canvasser Award winners

2012 Employee Campaign Chair Awards

These are the creative, organized, determined people who coordinate the entire workplace campaign effort. The winners have been selected for going above and beyond the call of duty in the areas of best practice, creativity, enthusiasm and energy. Congratulations to Christey Allen of the Canadian International Grains Institute and Stacy Loree and Jeff Eckstein of MNP  (Read more about the CIGI campaign and MNP campaign!)

ECC Award Winner Christey Allen of CIGI

ECC Award Winner Christey Allen of CIGI

ECC Award Winners Stacy Loree and Jeff Eckstein of MNP

ECC Award Winners Stacy Loree and Jeff Eckstein of MNP

2012 Campaign Chair’s Awards

And last but not least, the highest level of recognition United Way gives – the Campaign Chair’s Award. Congratulations to Cargill Limited, Grain Insurance & Guarantee Company, James Richardson & Sons and Affiliated Companies, the Johnston Group, National Leasing and the Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce!

Campaign Chair Award Winners Cargill Limited

Campaign Chair Award Winners Cargill Limited

Campaign Chair Award Winners Grain Insurance & Guarantee - Darryl Levy

Campaign Chair Award Winners Grain Insurance & Guarantee

Campaign Chair's Award Winners James Richardson & Sons and Affiliated Companies

Campaign Chair’s Award Winners James Richardson & Sons and Affiliated Companies

Campaign Chair's Award Winners the Johnston Group

Campaign Chair’s Award Winners the Johnston Group

Campaign Chair's Award Winners National Leasing

Campaign Chair’s Award Winners National Leasing

Campaign Chair's Award Winners the Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce

Campaign Chair’s Award Winners the Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce

Thank you to all of you for your incredible support this year – you’ve helped create opportunities for a better life for everyone!

Click here for more information on the Spirit Awards

Winnipeggers’ generosity leading United Way to biggest achievement ever

Winnipeggers’ unrelenting spirit, generosity and belief in our city will continue to change lives by supporting a vital network of over 100 social programs and partnerships thanks to the largest campaign achievement ever.

Campaign Chair Doug Finkbeiner speaks at Touchdown 2012

Campaign Chair Doug Finkbeiner speaks at Touchdown 2012

“Winnipeggers care about building a safer, stronger community we can all believe in – a Winnipeg we can all be proud to call home,” said United Way’s 2012 Campaign Chair, Doug Finkbeiner when he spoke to supporters, volunteers, and agency partners tonight at Campaign 2012’s Touchdown.

“We will surpass last year’s campaign total and set a new United Way fundraising record of $19.9 million,” said Finkbeiner. “We have you and our entire city to thank for this remarkable achievement. That said; please know that we’re not ready to stop just yet. We have set our sights on $20 million and we will do everything we can to reach what would truly be a historic milestone.”

“In the coming weeks there are workplace campaigns still to run and donations to come in from people and organizations that haven’t yet been able to make their gifts. In addition we are identifying opportunities to pursue that will represent new sources of revenue that we hope will help us achieve the best possible results for our community,” said Finkbeiner.

For more than 245,000 Winnipeggers (one-third of our population) who access United Way programs and services each year, it means help can be there when they need it most.

Money raised through United Way’s annual campaign represents sustained, multi-year
funding—a unique asset in the non-profit world that means agency partners can spend more time focusing their attention on the important work of delivering services to people in
our community.

It means important social resources will be better able to train and retain qualified, dedicated staff who will be there for their clients over the long haul. It helps give these staff the opportunity to reach out and connect with the community in a meaningful way in order to build the relationships and trust that are so vital to helping people achieve their goals and realize their dreams. It means these supports and services will be available when our friends, family, neighbours and co-workers need them most.

Thank you again Winnipeg!

This event was generously sponsored by:

Taylor McCaffrey LLP logo




Additional event sponsorship provided by:

AVentPro logoVictoria Inn Hotel and Convention Centre logo

Having fun and giving back at Cigi

The Cigi chicken toss in action!

From rubber chicken throwing to selling pasta by the bag and chances to win half a day off, there were no creative stones left unturned at the Canadian International Grains Institute‘s United Way campaign this year.

The rubber chicken toss gets everyone smiling so much it’s become a bit of a tradition, explains Employee Campaign Chair Christey Allen. “We run it at the beginning of the campaign – people pay $2 per toss, stand at the far end of the room, and have to try to throw a rubber chicken into the bucket, and all the money raised goes to United Way.” It’s a surprisingly tricky feat to achieve, she added “Usually only one person every year can manage it and get the prize!”

But what made it a true success was the giving spirit of the Cigi employees “People are more than willing to help out,” said Allen. “With United Way, what’s great is there’s such a diverse range of ways they are involved in helping the community. It gives everyone something to connect to.”

Thanks Cigi!

Campaign results will be announced January 17 – please join us!

Touchdown 2012 invitationWinnipeg is a unique and special community. The home of never-quit and can-do, we’re a community large enough to be known around the world, but small enough that it’s difficult to go anywhere without running into someone we know.

We believe in human rights and helping people. We succeed because we care about one another. Time and again we are there for each other when it matters most.

You’ve shown how much you believe in Winnipeg by supporting United Way. Please join us as we share the results of this year’s fundraising campaign and celebrate the very real difference organizations and people like you are making in Winnipeg.

Where: Victoria Inn Winnipeg | 1808 Wellington Avenue

When: Thursday, January 17, 2013

  • 5:30 pm Cocktails
  • 6:15 pm Banquet Seating

Tickets are $35 each or $315 for a table of 10. You can buy them online here.

For more info or to RSVP offline, call Angela Bishop at 204-924-4266 or email

This event is generously sponsored by:

Taylor McCaffrey LLP logo





Additional event sponsorship provided by:

AVentPro logoVictoria Inn Hotel and Convention Centre logo

A gift of hope

Elsa Garcia with her children, Olivia and Diego

Hello. My name is Elsa Garcia. I am 27 years old and I live in the Brooklands community with my partner and our two children Olivia, 7 and Diego, 5. I wanted to write to let you know how important United Way programs and supports have been to me and my family.

My partner works, but he also pays child support because he has kids from a previous relationship. Raising a family on our limited budget is very hard. Especially when his payments are due. There are times when I can’t even buy a jug of milk.

My oldest, Olivia, sees things her friends have at school and she wants them too. Like Cheese Strings, or even something simple like juice boxes. But they’re expensive. I have to buy whatever’s on sale. I have to buy in bulk and put it in another container. Sometimes water it down. These are the things you have to do.

Just the other day, one of Olivia’s friends asked her why her mom doesn’t just buy her those things. So she came home asking me why, mommy. I have to tell her we can’t afford it. I have to tell her I’ll try my best for next time. It just breaks my heart. I think she understands.

It’s easy to get upset and stressed. We argue. I know it’s not good for me to be angry at my partner. I know he’s stressed too. I wish I could help our family, at least with getting some of the basics. I want him to know it’s not all on his shoulders all the time. But you just get so frustrated when you can’t provide for your own children.

I’ve got my diploma to be a medical office assistant, but when Olivia came, and then Diego, I had to stay home. We looked at daycares, but it’s too expensive. All my paycheque would just be going to keep them in care.

When we found ourselves in this situation, I was embarrassed and ashamed. Thankfully there’s a place that tells me it’s okay. It’s a United Way agency partner in our neighbourhood. They tell me that everyone goes through it sometimes and that if we can, if we’re able to help you, we will. And they do.

I joined their health group. We meet every two weeks. They brought in a dietician who gave us tips on shopping for healthy food on a tight budget. But it’s also just nice to meet new people from the community. I remember when I used to live at my parents’ house, nobody ever talked to each other. There was no community. But now I know the people around me and if I have a problem I can go and ask them for help. To me it’s like a family.

There’s also an afterschool program. My kids love it there because they get to draw and paint and do crafts and have a healthy snack with the other children. It makes me feel good because I know they’re safe and enjoy it there. Now I can focus on finding a job.

We don’t have a computer at home so I’ve been getting help with updating my resume and job hunting on the internet. They’ve shown me some of the boards where there are postings and they’re trying to find me somewhere I can volunteer so I can get some experience.

My dream is to just be able to give my kids and my family the basics. When I no longer have to worry if my kids will have food on the table…and we can be more happy and not stressed all the time about financial problems, that’s my dream.

And I know that when I can, I’m going to be donating to organizations like United Way. Because I know how hard it is and I know there’s a lot of people going through what I’m going through.

To everyone who reads this who supports United Way, and has helped me and my family, I cannot say thank you enough. You are giving us hope for the future. You are helping us change our lives for the better. If you have never made a donation, please consider it.


Elsa Garcia
Brooklands, Winnipeg

PS. I just got a job working 3 hours a week at the agency. I’m so excited!

Your donation will make a difference


Campaign Chair Doug FinkbeinerAs we head into the holiday season and our thoughts turn to family and to celebrating all that we have to be thankful for, thousands of Winnipeggers are struggling to hang on.

Their thoughts are focused on somehow finding an affordable place to live, or finally landing a stable job, or even just being able to provide a lunch for their kids to take to school every day next week.


This year I met so many people who changed their lives and gave themselves and their families a second chance thanks to United Way. Their amazing stories reinforce for me just how important the essential network of programs and services United Way supports all across our city really is. This includes after school programs, homework clubs, community resource centres, parenting programs, mental health and wellness supports, disability services, asset building programs, pre-employment and job skills training, to name a few.


Time is running out on our annual campaign this year. This essential network of programs and services needs your help to continue to touch the lives of nearly one in three Winnipeggers.


The good news is that your gift right now will make a difference. It doesn’t matter the amount! It will change lives for the better. We see it every day.

Please, join me in making a gift to United Way today by clicking here.

Thank you.

Doug Finkbeiner signature



Douglas Finkbeiner
2012 Campaign Chair
United Way of Winnipeg