After moving united over the last week, Winnipeggers gathered in True North Square Plaza at noon today and crossed the finish line of United Way Winnipeg’s annual Walk This Way challenge—officially marking the start of our 2023 fundraising campaign.
The noon-hour event wrapped up a week of rolling and strolling for thousands who successfully reached a collective distance goal of 150,000 kilometres and unlocked an $80,000 sponsor contribution for Winnipeggers in need.
“With this kind of momentum in just one week, think of how much we can do for Winnipeg when we work united all year long,” said United Way Winnipeg 2023 Campaign Co-Chair Kristie Pearson.
Pearson and husband, Doug Pollard (Pollard Banknote), took on the task of co-chairing this year’s campaign as a natural extension of their long-time relationship with the organization, both as donors and volunteers. Pollard’s father, Lawrence, served as Campaign Chair in the 1970s and was Chair of the United Way Winnipeg Board of Trustees in 1986.
“Our relationship with United Way Winnipeg extends as far back as we can remember,” Pollard said. “We’ve seen the positive impact stable funding has on an agency’s ability to change lives year after year.
“We’ve seen how powerful giving united can be.”
"With this kind of momentum in just one week, think of how much we can do for Winnipeg when we work united all year long."
The campaign kickoff comes amidst an ongoing crisis in our community, where soaring costs for food, rent, and basic needs—combined with job uncertainty and the grip of substance use—are creating untold levels of stress on young people and families.
Pearson said donations to United Way Winnipeg fuel a network of more than 125 agencies and programs that feed hungry kids, offer safe spaces for teens, protect families, offer job training and counselling, and so much more.
It’s critical we all look forward in the same direction to make sure Winnipeggers can find those reliable supports when they need them and begin to rebuild and strengthen their lives.
“These are urgent and complex challenges, and we don’t have any easy answers—but what we do have is each other. Together, we can be there for each other when times get hard,” she said.
“That’s what makes Winnipeg Winnipeg. The feeling of knowing someone is there for you and that someone has your back.”