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June 6, 2020

White text on a black background that reads: Standing together with community to build a future free from racism.
Dear ,

It’s been a difficult and heartbreaking week. Here in the GTA, we are not immune to anti-Black and anti-Indigenous racism and violence. It exists in our communities. In our neighbourhoods. In our schools and workplaces. Its impacts are felt deeply, and painfully, by those with lived experience of discrimination and injustice.

We can do better. We can be better. We can start by educating ourselves, speaking out and standing up against injustice. Here at United Way, we will continue to listen to our Black and Indigenous colleagues, agency partners and Black Community Advisory Council to learn how we can create space for change on this issue.

In times of crisis, whether it’s a pandemic, a natural disaster or political unrest, the research is clear. Connected communities—those communities that look inward and resolve to do better, to stand and stay together—emerge stronger and more resilient. Thank you for being a part of ours.

Always, and only, thank you.

Daniele Zanotti signature
Daniele Zanotti
President & CEO


  A laptop sitting on a desk showing a message that reads: Let’s come together with community.

Our Peel Region virtual town hall is next week (June 11) and we’ll be joined by the following distinguished panellists: Sonia Pace, Director, Community Partnerships, the Regional Municipality of Peel, Sharon Floyd, Executive Director, Interim Place, and Blair Peberdy, Vice President, Government & Corporate Relations, Alectra Inc. There is still time to sign up to join us.

And don’t forget to register for our virtual AGM on June 23.




On June 1, we announced a partnership with the City of Toronto to develop a medium-term COVID-19 shelter response strategy with a shared goal of helping the local shelter system manage during the crisis. A joint report will be shared in July and will include suggestions on how to minimize the spread of COVID-19 in the shelter system, ensure co-ordination with the health system and leverage opportunities presented by the pandemic.


It’s been called a “pandemic by postal code” and preliminary data released by the City of Toronto suggests neighbourhoods with a higher proportion of low-income residents, more racialized groups and newcomers, and more unemployed people have higher rates of COVID-19. We know from United Way research that not everyone in this region has the same ability to get their needs met and to get ahead: increasingly, it’s things you can’t control, including your race, gender and postal code, that determine your success. This is the kind of evidence that informs our investment approach—before, during and after the pandemic.


  We had an incredible turnout for our first-ever virtual town hall in York Region. Community members, donors and agency staff joined us to talk about their local love in action across the GTA. Panellists included the Honourable Deb Schulte, Minister of Seniors and MP, King-Vaughan, Cordelia Abankwa, General Manager, Social Services, The Regional Municipality of York and Greg MacKenzie, Chief Legal Officer & Corporate Secretary, 407 ETR. Don’t worry, if you missed the event you can watch a recording below.

Screenshot of the York Region town hall, which was held on Zoom, showing 25 viewers clapping.


  Screenshot of United Way President & CEO Daniele Zanotti addressing the camera.

We continue to receive questions from our supporters asking about both our urgent and long-term response to COVID-19. In my video update this week, I provide some details on the progress United Way agencies are making when it comes to our community response and talk about when we’ll start to shift from a focus on emergency funding to long-term community recovery.




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