Give the boot to cold toes on little tykes!

January 13, 2016, 7 to 9:30 a.m. — drop off new or gently used winter boots for Winnipeg tykes!

Free coffee from Grace Cafe, Jonnies Sticky buns and warm fuzzies! Download a poster now to put up in your office & spread the word!

GenNext Boot Drive January 13, 2016.

United Way’s GenNext is hosting a Drive-Thru Boot Drive, and needs your help to keep children safe & warm this winter. Help us provide children with the critical cold-weather footwear required for safe outdoor play and travel in the winter.

Rally your colleagues, teammates, friends or family to organize a collection drive at your workplace, family gathering, or sporting event. You can then personally drop them off at our improvised “drive through,” (in our back parking lot) and be pampered with some delish Jonnies Sticky buns and a warm cup of coffee.

Enter the United Way parking lot at the Main St. and Alexander Ave. entrance:

Volunteers will gather the boots and off you go in comfort! Gift cards or cash donations are welcomed.

“Why boots?” you may ask…

Families living in poverty are often unable to purchase winter boots for their children. And kids grow fast!

This means sometimes children are unable to participate in outdoor recreation activities in the winter months, or safely walk to school.

“We feel this is a need for kids in our community and a way for GenNext to make a difference. We want kids to be able to walk to school through snow on the coldest day of the year knowing they have the footwear to get them there,” said Jane Helbrecht, Vice-Chair of United Way’s GenNext Council.

“Winter boot donations also give kids the equipment and confidence to get outside and play with their friends and enjoy winter activities.  We hope Winnipeggers will come together on January 13 to help kids be all they can be this winter! It’s something so simple, yet so meaningful.”

The boots collected will be distributed to Koats for Kids and through our neighbourhood resource centres in Winnipeg.

Please email Dan if you have any questions!

Useful Trivia: Trivia Night is fun!

GenNext raised $600 for a better Winnipeg and got a whole lot (well, a little bit) smarter at the 2nd Sunday-evening trivia night.

What's gross? Answer: rubber brains.

What’s gross? Answer: rubber brains. All photos courtesy of David Lipnowski Photography.

The GenNext Pub Quiz Trivia Night 2 brought about 60 brainiacs out to Le Garage Café on October 18 to test their poutine-eating and trivia recall abilities.

Virgin 103.1 Pamela Roz was the Trivia Night MC.

Virgin 103.1 Pamela Roz (with fist in air!) was the Trivia Night MC.

A rubber brain on each table served as inspiration, and Pamela Roz of Virgin 103.1 served as inspiring host.

Trivia feeds the brain centre linked to excitement.

Trivia feeds the brain centre linked to excitement.

First place winners – The Trivia Pursuers –  got six Moose tix, a free round from Le Garage, Halloween decorations, and six high-quality buttery-soft vintage-style GenNext T-shirts.


Thanks to all who came and stay tuned for details on the next Pub Quiz in January. Check out more pictures on the GenNext Facebook Album and Instagram.



GenNexters mix it up.

GenNext Fall Mixer brings together caring leaders.

National Leasing played host for the GenNext Fall Mixer on Thursday, and about 50 GenNexters heard about the work of United Way and a call to leadership.

“When we step down from what we do it will be your generation and you that take up the mantle,” said Boys and Girls Clubs of Winnipeg CEO Ron Brown.

Boys and Girls Clubs of Winnipeg CEO Rob Brown talks to GenNexters.

Boys and Girls Clubs of Winnipeg CEO Rob Brown talks to GenNexters at National Leasing.

Ron spoke of his organization’s important work – how 10 after school sites bring positive mentorship and activities to about 2000 kids.

Without the generosity of Winnipeggers, through United Way, “about half of our organization would shut down,” Ron said.

“We have a great United Way in Winnipeg. It’s really good at what it does.”

GenNexters from National Leasing and other organizations enjoyed food and refreshments and grooved to Jamil the DJ and Mav-One spinning tracks.

GenNexters at Fall Mixer

 Jamil the DJ (right) and Mav-One (left) let Adam Smoluk take the wheel

Jamil the DJ (right) and Mav-One (left) let Adam Smoluk take the wheel.

“It’s a mixer!” said GenNext Council chair Adam Smoluk, a program manager at Film Training Manitoba.

“It’s a chance for us to get together, network, and talk about the things we’ve got planned with United Way and for the city.”

Adam was rubbing shoulders with past council chairs Paul Lacap, a director at Direct Focus, and Gurpreet Brar, director of consulting and deals at PricewaterhouseCoopers.

Former United Way GenNext Council chairs Paul Lacap (left) and Gurpreet Brar flank current chair Adam Smoluk.

Former United Way GenNext Council chairs Paul Lacap (left) and Gurpreet Brar flank current chair Adam Smoluk.

“I’m still involved and excited to see more and more people getting involved,” said Paul.

“Every single one of us needs to put our passion forward and participate. There’s about 200,000 in Winnipeg in our age demo, imagine if all those people engaged in something they’re passionate about. What would the city look like after that? It would be amazing.”

National Leasing GenNext Ambassador Committee co-chair Erin Peikoff said the initial year of GenNext at the organization has been a learning experience.

National Leasing's GenNext Ambassador Committee co-chairs Erin Peikoff (left) and Jay Leslie (right) with United Way GenNext manager Dan Robinson.

National Leasing’s GenNext Ambassador Committee co-chairs Erin Peikoff (left) and Jay Leslie (right) with United Way GenNext manager Dan Robinson.

“It’s been eye-opening to get out and see some of the agencies United Way supports, and hear about what they do. It becomes much more personal.”

National Leasing GenNexters did a Day of Caring at West Broadway Youth Outreach, and also ran a collection drive and fundraising BBQ to deliver loads of summer-related items for kids to Spence Neighbourhood Association.

The mixer was the last GenNext event at National Leasing before their 2015 United Way campaign begins.

GenNext mixer

National Leasing’s Employee Campaign Chair for the coming campaign, Brent Cantafio, was impressed with the turnout.

“This is my first exposure to GenNext – my first event. It’s amazing to see how many people – younger people – are involved and enjoying it. I think it helps people grasp the importance of community and how important it is to be involved.”

Learn more about GenNext and how you can get involved here.

GenNext mixer

National Leasing’s GenNext Mixer

National Leasing's Gen Next Mixer

See how you can make a real difference for Winnipeg kids in need and show your community you care.

National Leasing’s GenNext Ambassador Committee, would like to invite you to National Leasing’s United Way GenNext Fall Mixer in support of United Way of Winnipeg.

Get tickets before it sells out!

With live music from Jamil the DJ & Mav-one, a guest speaker from Big Brothers Big Sisters, catering from Mona Lisa Ristorante, a few cocktails and great company – this event is going to be a new highlight of National Leasing’s United Way campaign season!

Please join us for an informal after party at Moxie’s Kenaston.

GenNext looks to the future.

GenNext council makes plans, fall mixer coming up.

GenNext strategy session 2015

GenNext council members and United Way staff were smiling after their strategy session.

The GenNext council met August 25 at United Way for their 2015 strategy session to focus on how caring young Winnipeggers can create meaningful social change in Winnipeg.

“It was very encouraging and inspiring to hear this team of future leaders discussing the potential of GenNext to raise awareness about our community and its needs,” said Joanne Patenaude, who supports the GenNext program at United Way.

GenNext strategy session 2015

The council discussed ways to increase participation in GenNext, creating a strong vehicle for impassioned, positive change in Winnipeg.

Mixers – social gatherings for meeting other GenNexters and learning about philanthropic opportunities and the work of United Way agencies – were identified as valuable and fun events.

The next mixer is National Leasing’s GenNext Fall Mixer on September 10 with entertainment by Jamil the DJ & Mav-one, a guest speaker from Boys & Girls Clubs of Winnipeg, and catering from Mona Lisa Ristorante.

Details for future Days of Caring were talked about – a unique and intimate way for workplaces to give back to the community – and the newly-created GenNext newsletter was praised.

GenNext strategy session 2015

The possibility of a GenNext conference was also floated by the council.

“It’s never been done in Winnipeg. We’re hoping to bring a conference that would not only engage to the leaders in the workplace, the CEOs, but also engage the next generation of leaders,” said Joanne.

The strategy session was facilitated by Michelle Manary of ReframeHR.

GenNext strategy session 2015

GenNext council chair Adam Smoluk and session facilitator Michelle Manary of ReframeHR

GenNext chair Adam Smoluk sent a letter of thanks to Michelle after the session, noting that she “effectively engaged with everyone present, which led to the developing of a number of important and new initiatives.”

Learn about GenNext and get involved!

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

To learn more visit or email

GenNext BBQ at National Leasing

GenNext BBQ at National Leasing

National Leasing GenNext BBQ

GenNext BBQ at National Leasing