Celebrating Winnipeg’s generosity

Together we celebrated Campaign 2016 – the first year of a three-year plan to help thousands more in our city

More than 800 people came together to celebrate the generosity of Winnipeggers during the 2016 Campaign on Friday night at the RBC Convention Centre.

United Way friends help reveal Winnipeg's generosity for the 2016 Campaign.

United Way friends help reveal Winnipeg’s generosity for the 2016 Campaign.

“This is a remarkable achievement and I simply cannot thank you enough – all of you here tonight and thousands more,” said 2016 Campaign Chair Neil Besner as the total of $20.1 million was revealed.

It was the first year of a three-year plan guided by Winnipeggers to keep the support that helps thousands of Winnipeggers strong while bringing more help to over 11,000 more Winnipeggers.

The Rising Sun Pow Wow Club from Ma Mawi Wi Chi Itata Centre gave a beautiful performance as part of the celebration.

The Rising Sun Pow Wow Club from Ma Mawi Wi Chi Itata Centre gave a beautiful performance as part of the celebration.

“I hope you understand the very real difference your generosity and support will make for thousands of Winnipeggers who rely on the resources you make possible every day.”

Neil passed the torch to 2017 Campaign Chair Colin Ryan, who spoke of the inspiration of his mother showing him the value of volunteerism and giving back to community.

2017 Campaign Chair Colin Ryan pledged to start work right away.

2017 Campaign Chair Colin Ryan pledged to start work right away.

“She inspired me to always make time to get involved and I am fortunate in that I can now also contribute financially as well.”

Colin said he and the volunteers in United Way’s Cabinet will get back to work right away to shine a light on the challenges we face in our city and how the goals in the three-year plan will help address them.

“They are goals our community – all of us – believe are essential to achieve. We know that there are still kids and families facing real challenges even as we speak – and I know together we can reach them.”

“Your donation is an investment in very significant work.”

Incoming Campaign Chair Colin Ryan asks everyone to reach out and ask others to give now.

More than 300 Winnipeggers gathered at The MET on Friday to celebrate United Way’s Sponsored Executives, hear about the value of agencies providing job and money management skills help, and get inspired to do more as the 2016 campaign heads into the final laps.

This year 37 Sponsored Executives were loaned or sponsored by generous organizations to help workplaces during the 14-week campaign period. Without them the sustained, annual funding that 100 United Way agency partners depend on would not be possible.

The 2016 Sponsored Executives

The 2016 Sponsored Executives

Shannon Leppky, Vice President of Human Resources at event sponsor MPI, talked about the benefits to her organization that comes from loaning Sponsored Executives to help workplaces during United Way’s campaign.

“I’ve watched our employees return to their positions after their 14-week terms more confident, productive, and skilled. But most of all they’ve returned inspired.”

“Without a doubt, the Sponsored Executive program has become one of the cornerstones of our robust leadership development program at MPI,” said Shannon, adding MPI loaned four employees to the 2016 campaign.

Shawn Mahoney, executive director at United Way agency partner Opportunities for Employment, which helps people experiencing barriers to employment prepare for the workforce in a myriad of ways, described the profound benefits our community experiences when more people are working and financially independent.

He shared a story of a young man – an ex-offender – who cried after receiving a new suit and other help to successfully find a job at a critical time to keep his life stable and stay away from crime.

Shawn Mahoney

Shawn Mahoney

“For this guy there is no plan B. He’s not moving back to his parents’ basement…we calculated he had about two weeks to get a job and become self-sufficient.”

“I believe, honestly, that your donation is not a donation. Your donation is an investment in some significant, very very, significant work that you can all be proud of.”

Colin Ryan, the incoming United Way Campaign Chair, reminded guests that to help over 11,000 more people we all need to do more.

Colin Ryan asks us all to do more so we can help more.

Colin Ryan asks us all to do more so we can help more.

“Remember that we need to raise at least $20 million this year just to maintain the vital network of support we already make possible.”

Hundreds of workplace campaigns are still running, Colin said, and the urgency now to dig deep is real.

“I’m thrilled to share that Winnipeggers everywhere – that YOU – have already generated $16.4 million! Congratulations! You should feel very proud.”

To reach the goals laid out in the Three Years to a Better Winnipeg plan to help over 11,000 more kids and families we need to come together to grow the campaign by 15%, Colin said.

“To those who’ve already given a gift, thank you again.

To those who haven’t yet made your gift or have never given, please make this the moment. Be a part of something truly bigger than any of us – something that unites us in goodness and a commitment to Winnipeg and all who live here.

I’d like to challenge each of us here to look into our own networks – our own lives – and identify one person we know doesn’t give to United Way. Let’s identify them, and then make it our mission to tell them why being involved is important to you, and invite them to join you by making a donation.”

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)

Going further for Winnipeg kids and families.

After listening to Winnipeggers United Way presents a 3-year plan with clear goals to do more for kids and families still struggling in our city.

For the first time in United Way Winnipeg’s history the annual fundraising campaign is evolving to focus on three-year goals to address the growing challenges faced by kids and families in Winnipeg today. The plan – Three Years for a Better Winnipeg – is a direct response to conversations with nearly 2,000 Winnipeggers during United Way’s 50th anniversary last year.

Hundreds came to share breakfast at Hugh John Macdonald School and celebrate new goals to help more kids and families in Winnipeg.

Hundreds came to share breakfast at Hugh John Macdonald School and celebrate new goals to help more kids and families in Winnipeg.

On Thursday hundreds of children, parents and teachers came together for a community breakfast at Hugh John Macdonald School to share in this exciting plan to give more help in four important priority areas, including a commitment to:

      • 1,800 MORE mentors for kids – role models, advisors and friends who teach by example and help kids make healthy choices, do better in school, and develop important life and leadership skills.
      • Mental health support for 4,000 more young people – help them manage better at home, at school and in the community.
More help for more than 11,000 kids and families was announced at Hugh John Macdonald School on Thursday.

More help for more than 11,000 kids and families was announced at Hugh John Macdonald School on Thursday.

    • Connect 2,800 MORE people with job skills and money management training – helping them earn a steady income, reduce debt, manage their money, and create stability for their families.
    • Help 2,700 MORE families find support close to home – by extending the reach of neighbourhood family centres, which are hubs of the community and lifelines for families, especially those in low-income situations.

“Our campaign remains, as always, a way for all of us to have fun, celebrate our city and donate to help our fellow Winnipeggers. But this year is actually the beginning of a three-year journey tied directly to our new plan,” United Way of Winnipeg’s 2016 Campaign Chair Neil Besner told the community members gathered for breakfast.

Neil stressed United Way will continue to support the network of programs and services that help thousands every day in Winnipeg, while going further to achieve the goals for more kids and families.

Four Winnipeggers – Brandon, Shania, Mary, and Malofo – whose lives have been changed by United Way programs and services related to the new priority areas – shared their stories and thanked Winnipeggers for their generosity.

Brandon talked about how mentorship changed his life and helped him graduate, and how today he mentors other kids to do the same as an academic facilitator.

Brandon talked about how mentorship changed his life and helped him graduate, and how today he mentors other kids to do the same as an academic facilitator.

Neil said all Winnipeggers can get involved to help make achieve the goals they inspired.

“And how do we do it? We do what Winnipeggers do best… we get involved in being part of the Winnipeg we want to see,” Neil said.

“It doesn’t matter how big or small your gift is. EVERY gift – every dollar – you give will help change someone’s life.”

Please give today to do more for over 11,000 kids and families in Winnipeg.

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