Fifty years ago today, on May 11, 1965, leaders came together to form United Way of Winnipeg. They believed it would bring a sense of hope, community spirit and pride to our city.
Indeed after raising more money than ever expected that first year ($2.8 million), W. L. Palk, Vice President Campaign and Public Relations wrote –
“We proved there is no limit to the generosity of the people who live in this great city. Our victory returned to the heart and soul of Winnipeg hope, spirit, pride and person-to-person responsibility.” 1965 annual report
May 11, 2015—a day to celebrate our caring, compassionate community!
We’re grateful today for all the friends across the city who show us support in so many ways—donating, volunteering, sharing and spreading the word. Many helped make the launch of our 50th celebrations a success.
The mayor raised our flag over City Hall this morning. It reads “For a better Winnipeg.”
Our flag also flies at Portage and Main today.
Gathered at Portage and Main.
Many friends braved the chilly wind at Portage and Main for a media conference, blessed by Elder Florence Paynter. Board Chair Herb Peters hosted, and we heard from Minister Kerri Irvin-Ross, Mayor Brian Bowman, Hartley Richardson, Ayn Wilcox, and youth volunteer Victoria Truong.
Victoria was tasked with taking Winnipeg’s Biggest Selfie, an homage to the vintage United Way flag photo of our founding 50 years ago, which we think she pulled off beautifully.
Today we also launched Winnipeg Wednesdays, to help you find your favourite way to celebrate! Our volunteer 50th Anniversary Committee has activities planned for every Wednesday in June.
Wednesday June 17 is Make it Happen! Family resource centres are located in neighbourhoods across our city and offer a safe place for coffee and to do laundry, programming like financial counselling, job skills and parenting and much more. They make a big difference for thousands of families each year. These centres need some basic things – like couches, computers, a play structure. Between now and June 17, we hope to make 18 crowdfunding projects happen!
Wednesday June 24 we wrap it up with One Night for Winnipeg! Winnipeggers are invited to a free concert at the Forks featuring some of Winnipeg’s hottest performers, all in celebration of a kind, caring Winnipeg.
We hope to see you!
We’re always happy to answer questions, chat about your ideas for a better Winnipeg, and meet other Winnipeggers who dream of turning this city into a place where everyone belongs, everyone has a chance, and everyone can succeed.
Thank you for 50 wonderful years, Winnipeg.