GenNexters bring the summer.

GenNext members at National Leasing capped off a successful donation drive with a BBQ block party on Thursday.

The drive, called Giving Kids a Summer, collected summer items like sunscreen, bug spray, hats, sunglasses, and sporting equipment gathered for distribution to inner city children and families through Spence Neighbourhood Association (SNA) – a United Way partner agency.

National Leasing's GenNext BBQ

“When summer months come we don’t always realize that some children don’t have these things,” said GenNext member Tess Klachefsky.

Donations for National Leasing  Giving Kids a Summer drive

National Leasing’s GenNext donation drive collected items for kids at Spence Neighbourhood Association

Donation boxes were placed in the National Leasing offices, as well as those of corporate neighbours and BBQ attendees Pollard Banknote, Payworks, Canadian Western Bank and Manitoba Liquor and Lotteries.

Money raised from the BBQ was also slated to be used to purchase more items needed by children who attend SNA programming.

GenNext members at National Leasing

GenNext members at National Leasing

National Leasing has a strong GenNext presence, with about 15 members, and is one of the first workplaces to join United Way’s GenNext Ambassador Program.

“I think GenNext is fantastic for the city,” said Jay Leslie, a founding member of GenNext at National Leasing and an Ambassador.

“It’s an opportunity to network and an opportunity to give back.”

Jay Leslie talks about the donation drive and GenNext

Jay Leslie talks about the donation drive and GenNext

The GenNext team at National Leasing has also taken part in United Way Days of Caring, a poverty simulation to learn about the challenges faced by low income Winnipeggers, and they are planning a fall mixer.

National Leasing GenNext BBQ

GenNext BBQ at National Leasing

Dan Robinson, a GenNext manager at United Way, thanked the crowd for their support and generosity. He invited people to visit him at a table to sign up for the GenNext newsletter.

GenNext is “not about giving money, it’s more about getting engaged with peers and with the work that United Way does,” Dan said.

GenNext BBQ at National Leasing

A BBQ attendee signs up for the GenNext newsletter

United Way’s GenNext program offers young professionals an opportunity to create meaningful social change in Winnipeg while connecting with like-minded peers and having scads of fun.

GenNext BBQ at National Leasing

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GenNext BBQ at National Leasing

GenNext BBQ at National Leasing

National Leasing GenNext BBQ

GenNext BBQ at National Leasing


Winnipeggers reach for the stars at United Way’s AGM.

The stars were out at United Way of Winnipeg’s annual general meeting and luncheon on Thursday, June 16, 2011 at the Winnipeg Convention Centre.

Close to 900 volunteers, staff, agency partners and supporters came out to celebrate a year of accomplishments and milestones. Among them: Premier Greg Selinger and Kerri Irvin-Ross, Minister of Housing and Community Development.

Helping everyone, one at a time.

People and families who are helping change lives and whose lives have been changed through United Way took to the stage for a special presentation. Framed by a fable about a young boy who persists in throwing stranded starfish back in the water despite cynicism from a passerby, the production showcased the impact of individual actions when combined through United Way.


“Whenever you feel overwhelmed by the challenges we face, remember the inspiring stories you’ve heard today,” Christine Pierre, Chair of United Way’s Aboriginal Relations Council told the crowd. “Never doubt that your contribution – whatever it may be – does make a difference.”

“Know that you are never alone, as long as there is a United Way to bring us together, and as long as we are willing to reach for the stars.”

Guests were given a chance to prove small actions do in fact add up to big change when John Loewen, emcee and Co-chair of United Way’s Major Donor Cabinet, announced Canadian Western Bank will donate $1 for every person who “likes” United Way of Winnipeg on Facebook and Twitter, up to $5000.

The event also recognized the contributions of several senior volunteers and paid tribute to Cargill Limited and Great-West Life, London Life, Canada Life for raising more than $1 million nationwide through 2010 employee campaigns and corporate donations.

Following the luncheon, United Way’s 2011/12 Board of Trustees was elected at the annual general meeting. The event also provided guests with a first glimpse of United Way’s 2010/11 annual report.