School’s Out is an initiative that focuses on the wellbeing of children after school hours, by promoting their happiness, health, and resilience amidst this pandemic. It does this through a variety of programmes suited to their individual interests, and aims to support them and promote five key themes: health and wellness, connectedness, service to community, interests & competencies, and social & emotional development. Even during the pandemic, these initiatives reached over 4000 children in the 2020-2021 year, and allowed for almost 80% of participants in the program to develop their skills in sports, arts, academics, establish positive relationships, and engage with their community while increasing their physical activity and learning about wellness and health. People like yourself, giving what they can, are the only way that these programs are able to continue and allow for these children to lead better lives, so please consider giving to support the community.
United Way’s Healthy Aging program is an initiative that helps seniors here in British Columbia exist in both their homes and their communities for longer by building on the strengths, talents, and passions that already exist. The program does this by helping provide ways for older adults to have greater control over their independence, health, and dignity, targeting seven areas to achieve this: transportation, isolation, personal connection, visibility, anxiety, food security, and technology gaps. With Healthy Aging, United Way has recognized that there is no single way to address loneliness and isolation, and tackles each aspect of this head-on. Stemming from this ideal, United Way has developed initiatives such as the Digital Learning Pilot Project, which has a provincial reach and represents more than half a million dollars invested in communities and individuals’ self-sufficiency. Initiatives such as Men’s Sheds are another way for isolated seniors to come together and bond in a comfortable and cozy space, and are able to be started for as low as $1000. All of these are only possible through donor donations, and shows that empowering seniors to lead more fulfilling lives betters the whole community. So please, consider donating today.
LOCAL LOVE FOOD HUBS
When the COVID-19 pandemic began, an unprecedented number of British Columbians struggled to get food on the table. United Way responded by establishing their Local Love Food Hubs, which provide groceries, food hampers, prepared meals, and other essential items to people in communities across BC. However, food insecurity is not a new issue; in fact, it is experienced by 1 in 7 Canadian households. Recognizing the need for a more permanent, sustainable, and holistic solution, United Way has grown their 152 initial Food Hubs into 16 Regional Community Hubs. Respect and dignity are paramount to this initiative: their goal is to ensure that anyone who faces food insecurity has immediate access to healthy, culturally appropriate food and a vast array of services – free of stigma. Between April and August of this year, over 1 million meals, 82,000+ hampers, and 350 service referrals have been distributed, all of which have helped nearly 39,000 individuals. Your contribution to United Way helps build stronger, healthier, and more resilient communities. Please spread your local love by giving generously to United Way.
YOUTH FUTURES EDUCATION FUND
For former youth in care, pursuing a post-secondary education may be incredibly challenging. Without governmental or familial support, youth who ‘age out’ of the foster care system must often work multiple jobs or put their education on hold in order to merely survive. The Youth Futures Education Fund removes this crucial barrier to higher education by providing the funds to cover living expenses for former youth in care who are attending a post-secondary institution on a tuition waiver. In the 2019/2020 school year, over $500,000 was distributed to 430 students in British Columbia, and they have used the funds to cover expenses such as food, rent, and textbooks. When you support United Way, you are putting former youth in care on track for success and helping them achieve their educational dreams.