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)

“On track” to help more Winnipeggers than ever before!

Two hundred United Way Winnipeg friends had breakfast at the gleaming CN Campus training facility Thursday to mark a 64% progress toward the Campaign 2015 goal.

CN hosted at the gleaming CN Campus on Pandora.

CN hosted at the gleaming CN Campus on Pandora.

The event paid tribute to the Labour community, and David Sauer, President of Winnipeg Labour Council, performed MC duties.

A table full of Labour, with Dave Sauer onstage checking out the podium.

A table full of Labour, with Dave Sauer onstage checking out the podium.

David praised the CN Campus, a facility that trains and recertifies hundreds of CN employees, including more than 2,000 in Winnipeg.

David introduced Cassandra Golondrina, who spoke of facing poverty and mental health issues with help from ten United Way-supported agencies.

Cassandra Golondrina

Cassandra Golondrina

“I stand here today as a single mother of five, a survivor, and a success story.”

Cassandra said she has moved from getting help from United Way agencies, to becoming a United Way donor.

“Whether it’s a one-time donation , a dollar-a-day, or a corporate gift, it goes right back into the community.”

CN Vice-President Jim Vena presented United Way’s 2015 Campaign Chair Kelvin Shepherd with a cheque for more than $140,000.

Kelvin, in railyard gear, accepts a cheque from CN VP Jim Vena.

Kelvin, in railyard gear, accepts a cheque from CN VP Jim Vena.

“We give across Canada and U.S. to United Way,” said Jim, adding that CN gave $1.5 million to United Ways across North America this year.

“It’s important for us to give back to the community.”

Kelvin ended the morning by highlighting that ticket proceeds for the breakfast will go to support Family Resource Centres – a special focus of United Way in 2015 to mark 50 years of community building.

Family Resource Centres “help meet basic needs, strengthen families, and pave the way for kids’ success in school and life,” Kelvin said.

“We encourage you to support this very important initiative if you’re able, by topping up your annual donation with an additional gift directed specifically to helping 23 Family Resource Centres provide a wide range of supports and services to an average of 35,000 Winnipeggers every year.”

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