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Celebrating International Women's Day AND a remarkable campaign achievement

Three agency staff smile at the United Way Greater Toronto Anchor Agency Forum in 2023

This week we’re talking about International Women’s Day, stories from women across the GTA, the results from our 2023 Community Campaign and more.

Dear Friend,

It’s been an exciting time here at United Way Greater Toronto: Not only did we celebrate International Women’s Day, but we also recently announced that our 2023 Community Campaign raised a remarkable $111 million!

This tremendous achievement is only made possible because of supporters like you, and it seems like the perfect time to tell you about how those dollars help make life better for women across the GTA.

As the cost-of-living crisis continues, we’re seeing women across our communities bear the brunt of its impact. Over 300,000 women in the GTA are living on a low income—in fact, most of Canada’s minimum-wage workers are women. Peel Region, the City of Toronto and York Region also recently declared gender-based, intimate partner and family violence an epidemic. And for women, violence and poverty are the most common causes of homelessness.

But United Way Greater Toronto is there, funding more than 100 programs for women and making sure they and their families have what they need to thrive. The 300+ community organizations in our network are connecting women to vital supports like food banks and emergency shelters. They’re providing them with the tools they need to find decent and flexible jobs. They’re offering legal advice clinics for survivors of violence. And they’re helping women advocate for social change.

All of this work is possible because of you. Your generosity is making a positive impact in the lives of women and so many others across the GTA.

This record $111 million ensures the network of frontline United Way agencies that served over 2 million neighbours, friends and families last year, stays steady and strong—today and for years to come. Thank you for all that you do to build brighter and stronger communities across our region.

Daniele Zanotti
President & CEO
United Way Greater Toronto

Things to Know Right Now

Daniele Zanotti, President and CEO of United Way Greater Toronto, and David Leonard, CEO of McCarthy Tetrault LLP and United Way 2023 Community Campaign Chair, announce that the organization surpassed its goal, raising a record $111 million.
Daniele Zanotti, President and CEO of United Way Greater Toronto, and David Leonard, CEO of McCarthy Tétrault LLP and United Way Greater Toronto 2023 Community Campaign Chair

Celebrating our Collective Achievement

In a year where we saw high inflation, skyrocketing rents and increasing costs of living—and an increase in community needs to address these crises—there has been an overwhelming response. The dedication of 800 workplaces, 80,000 donors and 2,200 volunteers helped raise $111 million in support of United Way, surpassing our 2023 Community Campaign goal. We were so proud to announce this incredible achievement alongside the release of our United Way Greater Toronto Local Leaders List, which recognizes organizations that—together with their employees—showed tremendous leadership and generosity. This outpouring of support enables us to tackle local poverty. Because of you, we can continue meeting urgent needs and working with partners to build more resilient neighbourhoods where everyone can thrive.

Update from the Frontlines

Jenifer, who received support from a United Way-funded women’s employment agency, looks straight at the camera.
Jenifer received career counselling from a United Way-funded agency

Helping Women Build Career Paths

Jenifer had been volunteering for United Way-funded Times Change, a women’s employment agency, when she found herself needing to re-enter the labour market. She was in her 40s and hadn’t worked for a while, and she wasn’t sure there was a place for her. She signed up for the programs she had supported as a volunteer, and after working with a career counsellor, Jenifer found a job that was perfect for her. The training centre that helped Jenifer is one of more than 100 programs we fund that are designed for women across the GTA. With support from donors like you, we can continue to connect women to the skills and training they need to build meaningful careers.

Nafisa Nezam smiling at camera
A United Way-supported program helped Nafisa make ends meet

Connecting Women to Food Supports

When Nafisa first arrived in Toronto as a new immigrant, she was isolated and struggling to afford both rent and groceries for her and her daughter. Fortunately, she was connected to United Way-supported Rexdale Community Hub, where she was able to access a food pantry. The pantry provided groceries that helped Nafisa fill in the gaps when she needed support, and that made a huge impact on her. She volunteered and now works at one of the hub’s programs, and today, she and her daughter are thriving. Everyone in our community deserves to be able to afford both housing and food. Your support helps us connect many more women across the GTA to the kind of critical programs Nafisa accessed and makes our communities healthier, stronger and more food secure for everyone.

Job Opportunities

We were thrilled to see an incredible turnout for the Golden Mile Hiring Fair, hosted by United Way in partnership with ACCES Employment and the Centre for Inclusive Economic Opportunity, Golden Mile. Twenty key employers were on site conducting interviews with 150 candidates from the area for more than 40 jobs. The hiring fair, part of the Inclusive Local Economic Opportunity initiative, brought the private, public and non-profit sectors together with community organizations to connect local residents with a range of potential job opportunities.

New Seniors’ Centre

Congratulations to United Way-supported Polycultural Immigrant & Community Services on the launch of their new Seniors Hub! We are proud to have helped fund this amazing facility that is designed to support isolated seniors facing social marginalization due to language barriers, immigration or cultural identity. The hub will be a dedicated space for seniors to come together, connect, share and find support in community to help them live independently in their new homes long term.

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