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Celebrating 2022 with community

A DEEN Support Services employee and program participant prepare to make a meal in a pressure cooker

We’re celebrating everything we accomplished in community this year — while keeping an eye on the challenges ahead

Dear Friend,

As 2022 comes to a close, I am reflecting on the many challenges our communities have faced. Omicron. Skyrocketing inflation. The worsening housing crisis. But through it all, you’ve been there, partnering with United Way to meet these challenges head on. Together, we’ve been able to connect hundreds of thousands of people across the GTA to the supports they needed, close to home. Food programs, mental health hotlines, housing support — all available thanks to the collective efforts of our donors and partners.

We should all take a moment to celebrate these victories big and small. Below you’ll see incredible images from community and testimonials from the agencies we support and the people we partner with. All of them remind us of why we do the work we do, day in and day out. They also remind us why we must keep going.

Because the work isn’t over yet. As I noted in our last issue, the cost-of-living crisis is forcing more and more friends and neighbours to rely on charities and food programs to make ends meet. While we don’t know how the next few months will unfold, we do know that United Way is still needed. And so are you.

So please, if you’re able, stick with us. We have a few more weeks to hit our 2022 Community Campaign goal of $110 million, which will help us power our network of 300 local social service agencies through 2023. Every dollar counts.

We may have a long way to go until we bring a future without poverty into focus, but I know that with you by our side, we’ll get there. From everyone here at United Way, thank you for all that you have done to strengthen this place we call home.

We wish you the very best in the new year.

Daniele Zanotti
President & CEO
United Way Greater Toronto

Members of the York Region Food Network gather around raised gardening beds and smile for the camera
Volunteers at Agincourt Community Services Association’s community garden help to clean up the garden and pose with their kids in front of the garden

I have valued the long and rich relationship between Ernestine’s Women’s Shelter and United Way…. Unlike any other funder, United Way understands who our clients are, their staff work from that lens and the communication and directive from them always leads from a client focused framework. I am not sure that they even know the gravity of what that translates to. We promote United Way because we truly could not do what we do without this relationship.

Sharlene Tygesen, Executive Director
Ernestine’s Women’s Shelter

Two Human Endeavour volunteers pose in front of a van filled with furniture they’re out to deliver
A group of volunteers pose with bags of garbage they've picked up as part of a community cleanup.

The most valuable thing about partnering with United Way is being part of a larger system and movement that drives towards collective impact. As a movement, a community-first approach is taken in all areas of your work and you have deep relationships across various sectors, with strong community intelligence, relevant research and policy positions — all driving towards community impact. United Way is not a transactional funder but rather is a relational funder that is the bedrock to our sector, system and city. We are grateful for your much needed role as the champion of community.

Sue Wilkinson, Executive Director

Volunteers dressed in PPE stack food on shelves and pack food boxes at The Neighbourhood Organization’s food bank
Bhangra dancer Gurdeep Pandher stands in front of a window in the CN Tower’s observation deck and leads a group of people in a dance
StepStones for Youth participants pose for photos around picnic tables at the Summer Community BBQ
BGC East Scarborough Program Coordinator Onyx Duggan poses with students in a photo; students pose together on bean bags and give the peace sign to the camera

Many of us fight silent obstacles each day and United Way funded agencies are so often there when no one else is. In my line of work, we connect to United Way agencies. Every. Single. Day. Across York Region, United Way funded agencies help enable us to better support our residents, our friends and family.

Dino Basso, Commissioner, Corporate Services
The Regional Municipality of York

A group of children do activities in a sunny room at a Newcomer Centre of Peel program
A speaker dressed in warm clothing stands in front of a microphone at a demonstration; members of Workers’ Action Centre hold up a large sign at a demonstration

I appreciate the public policy and advocacy efforts that United Way does on our behalf. It is extremely difficult to navigate that as a tiny organization with not a lot of resources.

Christy Upshall, Chief Executive Officer
Our Place Peel

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