Thank you for supporting Koats for Kids, Winnipeg!

The Koats for Kids program has wrapped-up for another season!

This year more than 6000 donated coats and thousands of hats, mitts, scarves and boots were distributed in the community to people in need. It’s an incredible display of warmth and generosity by thousands of Winnipeggers!

Grades 5 & 6 students at Sister MacNamara School helped kick off the Koats for Kids program last September.

Grades 5 & 6 students at Sister MacNamara School helped kick off the Koats for Kids program last September.

We want to thank the many children and school groups that organized collection drives. Making sure your classmates and other children can be warm is a wonderful expression of what being part of a caring and compassionate community is.

And a special thank you to past and new supporters from the business community that have made significant contributions to Koats for Kids this year.

Volunteers are essential to Koats’ success, and this year more than 400 volunteers contributed over 1,500 hours helping sort, clean, mend and deliver donations. Thank you!

Koats for Kids volunteers hard at work.

Koats for Kids volunteers hard at work.

One in five Winnipeg kids under 18 live in poverty, and that rate is even higher for younger kids. It is essential to provide access to warm winter gear for all children so they can go to school and play outside with their friends without risk to their health.

Since 1989, Koats for Kids has collected and distributed more than 178,000 items to Winnipeg infants, children and youth. Without the generosity each year of thousands of Winnipeggers it would not be possible. Thank you all so much.

Koats will begin accepting donations again in the fall of 2016.

Thank you to our partners:


Happy National Volunteer Week!

United Way benefits from the time & talents of thousands of generous Winnipeggers. We couldn’t do it without you!

So much important work gets done by our volunteers, like the 1500 Day of Caring volunteers who gave 5600+ hours last year making Winnipeg agencies more welcoming. Like the more than 400 people who spent more than 1600 hours sorting the wee toques from the wee mitts at Koats for Kids. And the hundreds that give in a professional capacity to our committees, councils, and working groups.

Happy National Volunteers Week!

A very happy National Volunteer Week! Thank you for making your city a better place to live.

Farewell to a friend and founder

Taken a the Canadian Pacific Railyards in 1965, United Way's first Board Chair George T. Richardson stands with inaugural Campaign Chair William Palk.

Taken at the Canadian Pacific Rail Yards in 1965, United Way of Winnipeg’s first Board Chair, George T. Richardson, stands with inaugural Campaign Chair William Palk.

United Way was saddened to learn this morning of the passing of George T. Richardson, a pillar of our community and a central figure in the history and founding of United Way of Winnipeg. He was 89.

Richardson was president and CEO of James Richardson & Sons, Limited for more than three decades. He was a champion and proponent of Winnipeg, helping to start and steward many iconic enterprises and organizations, United Way included. In fact, George Richardson served on the very first Board of Trustees for United Way of Winnipeg when it was founded in 1965 and served as President in 1968.

“As one of the founders of United Way in our city, his passion and dedication knew no limits,” said Ayn Wilcox, Chair of United Way’s Board of Trustees. “We honour and remember him for his philanthropy and visionary leadership. His dedication to the people of Winnipeg is an incredible legacy and an inspiration for a new generation of civic leaders.”

All of us here at United Way would like to extend our deepest condolences to his wife, Tannis, his sons David and Hartley, and the entire Richardson family.

Without you…

To the volunteers who have given so much to our community throughout 2013, we extend our deepest appreciation and warmest regards on behalf of Winnipeggers everywhere.

United Way loves its volunteeers!

May the spirit of peace and goodwill that shines brightly during this magical season extend throughout the year.

Thank you: for your vision, your leadership, your strength and optimism. Most importantly, thank you for recognizing that we are stronger together.

All the best for a new year filled with health, happiness, hope and opportunity.

Way to go, 2013 SCSA (Student Community Service Award) winners!

Every year we award the Student Community Service Award to high school students who show outstanding commitment to their community.

Congratulations and thanks to these young volunteers, who’ve made a read difference in Winnipeg already!

Student Community Service Award

Lana Tennenhouse Grant Park High School
Alexa Smith Gray Academy
Shana Spas École Edward Schreyer School
Carissa Nagtegaal Immanuel Christian School
Samantha Line John Taylor Collegiate
Tavleen Singh Kildonan East Collegiate
Patricia Mei M. Navidad Maples Collegiate
Paige Mills Marymound School
Abril Larsen Mennonite Brethren Collegiate Institute
Dakota Kochie Murdoch Mackay Collegiate Institute
Katie Duff Oak Park High School
Daisy Murdock R.B. Russell High School
Ka Yan Xu Shaftesbury High School
Charmaine Agsalud Sisler High School
Katrina Pander Springfield Collegiate
Erin Unrau Springfield Collegiate
James Michalski Springs Christian Academy
Kayla Verot St. Boniface Diocesan High School
Patricia Bulos St. James Collegiate
Jessica Gonzales St. John’s High School
Hannah Taylor St. John’s-Ravenscourt School
Chantale Bosc St. Mary’s Academy
Collins Martim St. Maurice School
Angelina Richichi St. Norbert Collegiate
Sebastian Lee St. Paul’s High School
Austin Woods Sturgeon Heights Collegiate
Cole Miller Tech Voc High School
Allyssa McFadyen Transcona Collegiate
Shrihani Gunaskera University of Winnipeg Collegiate
Sapphire Giberson Vincent Massey Collegiate
Hannah Beatty Westgate Mennonite Collegiate
Nicole Gomes West Kildonan Collegiate Institute
Eric Schillberg West Kildonan Collegiate Institute
Julia Kraemer Westwood Collegiate
Morgan O’Leary Windsor Park Collegiate

Thanks to the Norwood Hotel for hosting the desert reception, and program sponsor Great West Life.

Volunteer of the Day: Aynslie Hinds, Agency Liaison Volunteer


This week is Canada’s National Volunteer week – the perfect time to say thank you to the volunteers whose dedication and generosity make our work possible. Every day this week, we’ll be sharing the story of one of the more than 5,000 United Way volunteers we are so grateful for. We couldn’t do it without you.

Aynslie Hinds serves as an Agency Liaison Volunteer, contributing to the thousands of collective hours spent reviewing agency partner needs and helping make sure donations achieve maximum results.


How did you begin volunteering with United Way?

I started when I was in a master’s program at the U of M, volunteered to help with the United Way campaign on campus, and then I got involved youth relations, and asked about other opportunities – I became an Agency Liaison Volunteer (ALV) and have been one for about 5 or 6 years now.

What do you do as an Agency Liaison Volunteer?

Well, United Way funds around 100 different agency partners. It’s the ALV’s responsibility to meet with these partners, talk about what they’re doing, and discuss their funding applications.

We go in a team of 3- 5 volunteers and do annual checkups with them to follow up, talk about any concerns, and to learn about successes they’ve had.

Before you go to visit an agency, we meet with the United Way staff and develop a set of questions we want to ask the agency, and after the meeting we have a debrief where we talk about what we heard, evaluate and discuss the recommendation and write it up for the Community Investment Committee to look at and decide on.

It’s a huge responsibility. Winnipeggers donate money to the United Way, and expect that their money is being used well. It’s the ALV’s responsibility to help ensure that the United Way and the agency partners are accountable for that money.

I absolutely love being an ALV, it’s so exciting to be able to go to the different agency partners and see what they do. I’ve been lucky to be able to visit and work with a number of agencies over the years – RaY, Macdonald Youth Services, North Point Douglas Women’s Centre, Volunteer Manitoba, Wolseley Family Place – those are just a few of them. In a lot of visits to agencies, I end up getting goosebumps. Agency partner staff are so passionate about what they’re doing. It’s amazing what people are doing in the community and how they’re making Winnipeg a better place.

What motivates you to volunteer?

I absolutely love volunteering. If I could do it full time, I would! I feel very rewarded, and it’s a great way to meet and connect with other people. I just feel it’s important to give back to the community and help make Winnipeg the best place we can be.

Want to learn more about volunteering with United Way? Click here for more information

Whether they’re working with our agency partners, reaching out to donors, running special events, helping to build understanding about important issues in our community, or ensuring United Way itself is an effective and efficient organization …  at the end of the day, they make it possible for people all over this city to build better lives for themselves and their families.