FASHION EVENT GOES "ALL IN" TO SUPPORT YOUTH TO COMPLETE HIGH SCHOOL.

EDMONTON, AB. – For the second year, the Art Gallery of Alberta is playing host to an evening of DKNY fashion and entertainment, presented by TD Canada Trust in support of United Way’s All in for Youth program. The event is being hosted by United Way’s Campaign Cabinet Co-chair and Edmonton’s first-lady, Sarah Chan.


“Our team is delighted to build upon the success of last year’s sold out event. All profits from the evening will be invested into All in for Youth, a program that brings services to children, youth and families in Edmonton’s inner city schools,” said Chan. “The program consists of nutrition, counselling, mentorship, and many other supports, helping children and their families throughout the school years and onto high school completion.”


Guests will enjoy performances by Edmonton Opera, United1ne, DJ Kwake, Mary Pinkowski, and the event will also feature a runway fashion show presented by DKNY.


“We are proud to partner with United Way and support a program that has the potential to change so many young lives,” says Lance Chung, Managing Director, DKNY Edmonton. “We look forward to our continued partnership with United Way, we are proud to help children and youth be successful in school and life.”


To learn more about United Way, or how to donate, visit myunitedway.ca.


About United Way
United Way brings community members together to create pathways out of poverty and make the greatest impact possible on the most pressing social challenges in our community.

CONTACT INFORMATION:

Sara Klapstein
Marketing Advisor
United Way of the Alberta Capital Region
(780) 443-8393 (direct)
(780) 975-3762 (mobile)
sklapstein@myunitedway.ca

UNITED WAY RALLIES COMMUNITY TO RISE TO THE CHALLENGE

The need is great, but you’re greater…please give’r!

EDMONTON, AB – On Thursday, September 15th, over 700 community supporters gathered at the Shaw Conference Centre for United Way’s 2016 fundraising kickoff.

The theme of this year’s campaign is about rising to the challenge and tackling adversity head on. And, despite tough times, when our community needs us, we rally together and take care of each other.
 
“It’s been rough year for our province and our region.  Our province has had better times, but we ARE Alberta strong.  And, not only are we are going to be okay, we rally behind those who have been affected, we push past the challenges and we recover,” said Sarah Chan, 2016 United Way Campaign Co-Chair, and Edmonton’s first lady, an entrepreneur and teacher.  “We are resilient and resourceful, and we don’t back down.  And now, more than ever, is the time to rise to this latest challenge.”
 
Chan and campaign co-chair Tom Redl, President & CEO of Chandos Construction, thanked donors for their support and highlighted why now, more than ever, our community needs to come together to take care of our families, friends and colleagues.
 
“The need is great…but you’re greater.  There are so many ways to support United Way, and there is capacity for each and every one of us to participate, because truly, every contribution makes a big impact,” said Redl.  “Think about dropping a pebble in the pond and watching it make ripples, the ripples keep going until they reach all sides.  Even a small pebble has far-reaching effects.”
 
This year marks an important milestone, as United Way celebrates 75 years in the Alberta Capital Region.  A history display featuring some of the organization’s major milestones was set up for guests outside of Hall D.
 
“It’s inspiring to look back on the difference United Way has made in our community over the past 75 years, thanks to the support of our community and the shared vision we all have for the future,” stated Anne Smith, President and CEO of United Way of the Alberta Capital Region.

Another highlight of the event was musical performances by local artists, the Logan Alexis Singers and Paul Woida.  Keynote speaker, Sarah Hendricks, shared her inspiring story about her struggle with addiction and homelessness, and how she’s creating a different life for her and her child.
 
Residents who aren’t part of workplace campaigns, but who wish to show their support in addressing poverty in our community, can make donations online at myunitedway.ca or by calling the local United Way office at 780-990-1000.
 
About United Way
United Way brings community members together to create pathways out of poverty and make the greatest impact possible on the most pressing social challenges in our community.

For more information or to coordinate interviews, please contact:

Nancy Critchley Director, Communications, United Way of the Alberta Capital Region. p. 780-443-8381 c. 780-909-1794 ncritchley@myunitedway.ca

UNITED WAY HELPS HUNDREDS OF FORT McMURRAY KIDS GET BACK TO SCHOOL

Many young evacuees will finish the year in the Alberta Capital Region

EDMONTON, AB – Fort McMurray children who were evacuated with their families last week will get some help to finish the school year from our local United Way’s Tools for School program.

Being close the end of the school year, and with little indication of when evacuees will be able to return home, some Fort McMurray families are registering their children in schools across the Alberta Capital Region.  While this may help them finish off the school year, another gap remains – school supplies.

“We were so pleased to see we had about 1,500 backpacks from last year’s program still in stock at our United Way InKind Exchange,” explained Jenn Dermott, Program Coordinator for United Way of the Alberta Capital Region.  “Now kids will immediately get backpacks filled with exactly what they need for their grade level, can join local classes and continue learning as they await plans to return home.”

Calls started into the United Way office on Monday morning and, by early Tuesday, requests had come in from a wide variety of school boards needing help for hundreds of students that will join classrooms at nearly 60 schools in the region.

Tools for School is a long-established community program that provides backpacks full of school supplies to students whose families have limited resources, helping them get the right start in classes, ranging from kindergarten through grade 12.  

This program could not be possible without the support of our Tools for School Community Partner, Staples and our community sponsors, ABC Press, City, Edmonton Sun, Edmonton Examiner and Newcap Radio (CFCW, Capital FM, K-97). 

About United Way

United Way brings community members together to create pathways out of poverty and make the greatest impact possible on the most pressing social challenges in our community.

To learn more about United Way and its work with more than 50 community partners, please visit myunitedway.ca.

CONTACT INFORMATION:

Angela Dorval
Communications Advisor
United Way of the Alberta Capital Region
Phone: 780-443-8392
Cell: 780-937-1922
adorval@myunitedway.ca 
 
Jennifer Herrick
Director, Engagement Marketing
United Way of the Alberta Capital Region
Phone: 780-443-8374
Cell: 780-903-9984
jherrick@myunitedway.ca 

United Way celebrates fundraising efforts to help create pathways out of poverty

United Way honours achievements of 2015 Campaign and crowns winner of My United Way Voice contest

EDMONTON, AB – On Thursday, February 25, close to 700 people gathered at the Edmonton Expo Centre for United Way’s annual Red Tie Gala, 2015 Awards of Distinction.  The awards celebrated many outstanding contributions from organizations, individuals and volunteers to this year’s campaign; but most importantly, called attention to the impact these contributions have in our community toward helping individuals and families living in poverty.  

Before announcing the campaign achievement, Campaign Chair, Ruth Kelly, President and CEO of Venture Publishing, paid special tribute to Edmonton Community Foundation for providing a generous $1.5 million grant to fund a Matched Leadership Donation Program.  This program is the first of its kind between United Way and the Edmonton Community Foundation and it was brought forward to grow support for Creating Pathways Out of Poverty in our region.

“We wouldn’t have been able to achieve what we did without their generous support and the matching grant,” said Ruth Kelly.  “There is no doubt that this program will make an incredible impact for the people of the Capital Region.”  

She also noted, that even in tough economic times, this grant, which was meant to run over a two-year period, was fully leveraged within four months.  

“There is an overwhelming feeling of pride when I think about the response to this call for support – a call that was answered immediately,” said Ted Kouri, Board Chair of the Edmonton Community Foundation. “Your concern and generosity as a community is outstanding.”

The gala featured musical performances from the top three finalists in the second-ever My United Way Voice contest.  For the first time, voting for the contest was open during the event and the winner was announced live at the Red Tie Gala.  The contest, which launched this past fall, received over 50 entries from local artists who submitted an original track on the topic of poverty.  
The evening ended with a bang as outgoing Campaign Chair, Ruth Kelly, announced the 2015 campaign achievement.

“As I’m sure you’re aware, in challenging economic times, more families and individuals risk falling into poverty,” Ruth Kelly said.  “But I’m honoured to be able to tell you, together, we have raised an incredible $25.3 million!”  

United Way was also proud to honour three organizations with the Award of Excellence, recognizing campaigns that raised more than $1 million.  Sharing in this prestigious spotlight were: the Provincial Employees’ United Way Campaign ($1.3 million), Enbridge Pipelines ($1.75 million), and PCL Construction ($3 million).

About United Way
United Way brings community members together to create pathways out of poverty and make the greatest impact possible on the most pressing social challenges in our community.

To learn more about United Way and its work with more than 50 community partners, please visit myunitedway.ca.

CONTACT INFORMATION
Nancy Critchley, Director, Communications, United Way of the Alberta Capital Region     
Mobile: 780-222-7690
 Email: ncritchley@myunitedway.ca                                               

MY UNITED WAY VOICE CONTEST SHOWCASES TOP TEN AT WEM

Winner to be decided by online community-wide vote.

EDMONTON, AB – On Sunday, December 6th, ten artists from across the Alberta Capital Region will showcase their talent on the Newcap Radio stage at West Edmonton Mall, in front of a panel of industry professionals, as part of the My United Way Voice contest.  

The top ten contestants were chosen from almost 50 entries, with the winner to be selected by the public through an online vote.

 “Once again, we are so thrilled at the level of talent from people willing to lend their voice on the topic of poverty,” said R.J. Cui, CEO of PlanIt Sound.  “We received a great mix of submissions; there are some recognizable names but some new and emerging local artists as well.  It will be exciting to see them perform live in front of their friends, families and mall patrons.”

The contest, which is in its second year, launched in partnership with Hot 107FM and PlanIt Sound, invites singers, rappers and spoken word artists in the Capital Region to submit a song and video about poverty.  Some speak to the challenges of life in poverty, and others create a rallying cry to inspire others to make a difference.

“It’s great to be able to give the top ten contestants an opportunity to share their voice with everyone here today,” said Mike Kluttig, Vice President of Community Engagement at United Way. “But most importantly it’s the awareness that these artists are bringing about the struggles of people living in poverty that makes this contest unique.”

Voting for the contest will begin online Monday, December 7th and close on Friday, January 15th, 2016.  Once the voting closes, the top three artists will be announced and then the contest winner will be crowned at United Way’s Red Tie Gala, decided by live tweet votes on February 25th, 2016.

This winner will also receive a fully-sponsored prize package valued at $10,000, including:
•    Professionally recorded demo and performance coaching with PlanIt Sound
•    $2,500 cash prize* from AltaPro Electric
•    Artist highlight video
•    Red carpet-ready treatment with clothing, jewelry, hair & make up provided by Mr. Derk, Who Cares Wear, Hunt Amor and Pose Salon

* Cash prize must go towards items that will help enhance the artist's career (i.e. music equipment, lessons or schooling, performance attire, etc.)

For more information on the My United Way Voice contest or to vote, please visit myunitedwayvoice.ca.
Download a press kit http://bit.ly/voicepresskit

PCL Construction Breaks All Records, Raising $3 million for United Way of the Alberta Capital Region

EDMONTON, AB – PCL Construction and its employees have once again surpassed their own record by raising $3 million for United Way of the Alberta Capital Region in the 2015 United Way fundraising campaign.

"Once again, I am very proud of PCL. In these uncertain economic times, our employees remember that everyone has a story that deserves to be told. The services that United Way provides have the potential to reach every one of us, and by continuing to partner with United Way, PCL is able to make a major impact across the Alberta Capital Region. Thanks to the hard work of our United Way campaign committee and the generosity of all our employees, we have reached another significant milestone,” said Paul Douglas, PCL president and CEO.

PCL and its employees have supported United Way of the Alberta Capital Region for more than 45 years and consistently show that they care about their community by helping those who are facing challenges. 

In addition to raising funds to further United Way’s vision of a poverty-free community, the construction leader goes above and beyond, showing their support by offering volunteer hours and donations of products when and where they are needed. In the past, they have hosted coat drives for Coats for Kids and Families, collected books for local children and, this year, PCL employees donated the necessary contents for personal care kits that are distributed at Homeless Connect and volunteered to help hand out the kits at the event.

“This is the largest amount ever raised by a single corporation for our United Way,” said Anne Smith, President and CEO of United Way of the Alberta Capital Region.  “What is most significant about this milestone is the amazing show of generosity in times of economic uncertainty.  We are humbled and grateful - this will impact the citizens of the Alberta Capital Region in a very meaningful way.”  

Anyone wishing to show their support in addressing poverty in our community, donations can be made online at myunitedway.ca or by calling the local United Way office at 780-990-1000.  Donations made prior to December 31, 2015 are eligible for a charitable tax receipt. 

WILD WAGONS TEAR UP THE TRACK!

Local companies compete in human chuckwagon races in support of United Way.
 
EDMONTON, AB – On Sunday, November 8th, community members gathered at Fort Edmonton Park for the first Wild Wagons Showdown, a free event put on with the generous support of Edmonton Tourism, Northlands and Fort Edmonton Park.

Some of the highlights of the community-wide family event were horse-drawn wagon rides, a kids craft corner and musical entertainment by the Carolines and Jack the Fiddler.  But one of the biggest draws was cheering on local companies as they competed in human chuckwagon races – the first known race of its kind in Alberta.  This inaugural event is the latest spectacle of Rodeo Week that runs from November 7th – 15th.

“Rodeo Week brings together the Canadian Finals Rodeo, Farmfair International, Edmonton hotels and businesses to present exciting events. From great food, to family friendly activities, the whole city is going country,” said Joseph Pedrola, Industry and Community Activation Manager with Edmonton Tourism. “The Wild Wagons Showdown is a great example of an event that visitors and Edmontonians can both enjoy, while also engaging with the business community.”
 
While the core of United Way’s focus has always been on supporting people in the Alberta Capital Region, they have mostly focused their fundraising efforts on employee-driven campaigns through workplaces. That’s why this year they decided to bring together friends, neighbours and community supporters to celebrate the work we are doing together.  This event replaces United Way’s mid-campaign rodeo breakfast, typically attended by corporate supporters.
 
“The Wild Wagons Showdown is an opportunity to thank everyone in our community for their ongoing support of United Way and to help raise awareness about how poverty affects us all,” stated Mike Kluttig, Vice-President of Community Engagement with United Way of the Alberta Capital Region.  “United Way has a vision of a poverty-free community, but we know that the issue is not just about one organization, it’s a community-wide cause.”

United Way supports the community through over 50 social service partners that deliver more than 80 programs, covering urgent and long-term needs.

For more information on United Way, please visit myunitedway.ca.

PCL Construction and United Way Help Homeless Connect

Edmonton, Alberta (October 9, 2015) – PCL Construction is proud to announce that its employees have once again gone above and beyond to make their community a better place. Continuing with the tradition of a separate donation challenge during their two-week United Way campaign, this year saw PCL employees collect over 2400 personal care kits for the United way to help Homeless Connect. Each kit contains everything from socks and foot powder to toothbrushes and deodorant for either a man or woman, and there are 200 kits for children.

Homeless Connect, a community-inspired initiative, provides free services to people experiencing homelessness or at risk of becoming homeless. Twice a year, sponsors, service providers and volunteers gather at the Shaw Conference Centre to help people create paths out of homelessness.

“We know that it takes two thousand care kits to fulfill the need of one of Homeless Connect’s events, where they help our community’s most vulnerable,” said Travis Chorney, PCL’s United Way Campaign Chair. “PCL and all of our employees are so proud to have ensured that one event will be completely supplied with the kits, and the next one will already be off to a great start. It’s powerful to see our PCL team come together to make a meaningful difference in the Alberta Capital Region.”

United Way’s Jenn Dermott said “Having PCL step up and not only build the care kits for us but also engage their staff to collect the product is really amazing. We are seeing an increase in the number of individuals accessing our other community initiatives, and I believe we will also see an increased need at Homeless Connect on October 25th, so having additional care kits this year will be very impactful.”

Along with the care kits, PCL raised almost $2.9 million during this year’s campaign for the United Way of the Alberta Capital Region.

PCL began partnering with United Way in 1969. Districts throughout North America take part in annual campaigns to help raise money for local United Way agencies. Last year, PCL Construction donated over $7 million dollars to agencies in Canada and the US.

About PCL Construction

PCL is a group of independent construction companies that carries out work across Canada, the United States, the Caribbean, and in Australia. These diverse operations in the civil infrastructure, heavy industrial, and buildings markets are supported by a strategic presence in 31 major centers. Together, these companies have an annual construction volume of $8 billion, making PCL the largest contracting organization in Canada and one of the largest in North America. Watch us build at PCL.com.

For media inquiries, please contact:
Shane Jones
Media Relations Specialist
PCL Construction
(780) 733-5107
srjones@pcl.com

Coats for Kids and Families Launches at Oil Kings Game

People from around the capital region asked to donate coats and winter items.

EDMONTON, AB – Sunday, October 4th, outside Rexall Place, United Way and Page The Cleaner, in partnership with the Edmonton Oilers Community Foundation, kicked off the 24th annual Coats for Kids & Families campaign – a program that provides warm coats and other winter items to men, women and children in the Alberta Capital Region.

“It’s hard to imagine enduring our winter months without the appropriate clothing, but for many of the people living in poverty in our community, that is a cold, harsh reality. Last year we distributed 5,800 coats and we anticipate the need will be just as great this year,” said Jenn Dermott, Program Coordinator, Coats for Kids and Families. “Working with the generosity of our partners and the people in the Capital Region, we will work to ensure that no one is left out in the cold.”

From October 1st to December 15th, winter items can be dropped off at Page The Cleaner locations throughout the Alberta Capital Region.

“Helping to provide clean, warm coats for people in our community is something that makes all of us at Page The Cleaner feel very proud. Every year, we look forward to this event and being able to give back in such a meaningful way,” said Jim Maurais, Corporate Sales Manager, Page The Cleaner. “It’s amazing to think that, over the past 24 years, we’ve cleaned over 215,000 coats through this program.”

Once cleaned, the coats are sent to United Way’s In-Kind Exchange for sorting by numerous volunteers and then distributed throughout the community by United Way and partner organizations.

In addition to the drop-off boxes at Page The Cleaner, Oil Kings game patrons are asked to bring winter items to the December 13th game at Rexall Place.

“For over five years, the Edmonton Oilers Community Foundation (EOCF) has been a proud supporter of United Way’s Coats for Kids & Families campaign. This hockey season, we’ll be working hard once again to help keep the Capital Region warm for families in our community,” said Natalie Minckler, Executive Director, EOCF. “To help achieve this, fans and supporters are invited to bring new or gently-used warm winter coats to the Edmonton Oil Kings game on Sunday, December 13 versus the Medicine Hat Tigers.”
 
The Coats for Kids & Families campaign is presented by United Way of the Alberta Capital Region, Page The Cleaner, the Edmonton Oilers Community Foundation and Global Edmonton. Community Sponsors include: ABC Press, Virgin Radio, Edmonton Examiner, and the Edmonton Sun.

The campaign runs from October 1st to December 15th, 2015. For a complete list of drop off locations or to receive a coat, community members can visit: www.coatsforkidsandfamilies.ca.

Media Contact: Jenn Dermott, United Way of the Alberta Capital Region
780-443-8396 (direct) 780-394-1221 (cell) or jdermott (at) myunitedway.ca

MY UNITED WAY VOICE CONTEST BACK FOR A SECOND YEAR

Winner to be decided by community-wide online vote.

ST. ALBERT, AB – On Thursday, September 24th, United Way in partnership with Hot 107FM and PlanIt Sound, launched the 2nd edition of My United Voice, a Capital Region-wide contest to find the next voice against poverty.

“We came up with the idea of a contest and launched the first one in September 2014, because we really wanted to do something different to engage more people in United Way’s campaign,” stated R.J. Cui, CEO of PlanIt Sound. “We were blown away by the response we got from our community and their willingness to use their style and genre on the topic of poverty.”

Building off the success of the inaugural year, United Way decided to bring the contest back again, and give more people an opportunity to share their voice against poverty.

Entries will be accepted from September 24th through October 30th, 2015. Singers, rappers and spoken word artists are invited to take a stand against poverty by uploading a YouTube video of their submission, for a chance to win a fully-sponsored prize package valued at $10,000, including:

  • Professionally recorded demo and performance coaching with PlanIt Sound
  • $2,500 cash prize* from AltaPro Electric
  • Top ten showcase on HMV stage at West Edmonton Mall
  • Top 3 performance and winner announcement at United Way’s Red Tie Gala
  • Artist highlight video
  • Red carpet-ready treatment with clothing, jewelry, hair & make up provided by Mr. Derk, Who Cares Wear, Hunt Amor and Pose Salon

* Cash prize must go towards items that will help enhance the artist's career (i.e. music equipment, lessons or schooling, performance attire, etc.)

“When we launched the contest last year we had no idea what to expect,” said Mike Kluttig, Vice President of Community Engagement at United Way. “It was so inspiring in the number of submissions that came in, the number of stories we heard. We got everything we hoped for, and more, but knew it was only the beginning.”

Last year’s winner, Bill LeBlanc a.k.a.“Rellik,” was chosen in a community-wide vote, after the top five videos were selected by a panel of judges, from nearly 40 submissions. Rellik shared his own personal story of poverty through a song called “My Voice.”

“I remember growing up in a low-income household, we struggled to get by. I knew people that were living in shelters or on the streets,” recalls Rellik, 2014 My United Way Voice winner. “I think poverty gets swept under the rug by a lot of people. The contest is so important because it brings light to an important issue.”

For more information on the My United Way Voice contest, please visit myunitedwayvoice.ca.
Download a press kit http://bit.ly/voicepresskit

About United Way
United Way brings community members together to create pathways out of poverty and make
the greatest impact possible on the most pressing social challenges in our community.

CONTACT INFORMATION:
For more information or to coordinate interviews, please contact:
Nancy Critchley
Director, Communications
United Way of the Alberta Capital Region
p. 780-443-8381 c. 780-909-1794
ncritchley@myunitedway.ca

ENGINEERS TACKLE ANOTHER BIG PROJECT FOR THEIR COMMUNITY

United Way’s Engineering Day of Caring reaches 10 year milestone.

EDMONTON, AB. – On Friday, September 18th at 8:00 a.m., the 10th annual Engineering Day of Caring kicked off with one of the most ambitious construction projects in the history of the event. Volunteers from 18 engineering firms throughout the capital region gathered at Northstar Apartments to assemble a community playground, resurface a deck, build garden boxes and cold frame (miniature greenhouse).  With this overwhelming show of support from volunteers, all from the engineering sector, the project will only take one day to complete.

The Engineering Day of Caring is a collaboration of the engineering sector that aims to strengthen communities across the Alberta Capital Region, in partnership with United Way. Volunteers from local engineering firms work together to complete a large-scale project for an agency in our community, with all costs of materials and labour covered by the firms themselves.

This year’s project will benefit the residents of Northstar Apartments - a 62 unit apartment building located in Northeast Edmonton that is owned and operated by Boyle Street Community Services and its partner Leston Holdings.  The building houses individuals and families with low-incomes who receive rent subsidize as well as people who pay market rent.  Northstar Apartments seeks to create an environment in which each person is supported and enriched by their inclusion in the community.

“Boyle Street Community Services appreciates the opportunity afforded to us by United Way and the many engineering firms who are engaged in this excellent program,” says Jordan Reiniger, Director of Programs and Development.

The Engineering Day of Caring steering committee selected the project to help create a positive and safe outdoor space for residents, to help foster and promote healthy living and active lifestyles.

The engineering community is proud to support United Way’s mission to create pathways out of poverty. Cumulative support over the past 10 years has involved 21 engineering firm, 6500 volunteer hours and raised $11.6 million for United Way community partners.

To learn more about how you can get involved in your community, visit myunitedway.ca.

2015 Engineering Day of Caring Participants
AECOM, Associated Engineering, Apega, Bantrel, C-Fer, Cosyn, Enbridge, Fluor, ISL, Jacobs, JV Driver Group, Williams Engineering, Magna IV, Stantec, ONEC, Tetra Tech, Thurber, Worley Parsons

About United Way
United Way brings community members together to create pathways out of poverty and make the greatest impact possible on the most pressing social challenges in our community.

CONTACT INFORMATION:
Greg Wengreniuk, P.Eng.
Managing Senior Principal
Stantec Consulting Ltd.
(780) 917-8567 (w)
(780) 231-9162 (c)
Greg.wengreniuk@stantec.com

UNITED WAY LAUNCHES CAMPAIGN WITH $1 MILLION MATCHED DONATION PROGRAM FROM EDMONTON COMMUNITY FOUNDATION

EDMONTON, AB – On Thursday, September 17th, close to 700 community supporters gathered at the Shaw Conference Centre for United Way’s 2015 fundraising kickoff.  

Attendees learned about the considerable progress being made in our community towards helping solve poverty, thanks to their fundraising efforts.  And, they were the first to hear a special announcement from the Edmonton Community Foundation about a $1 million matched donation program that could see some United Way supporters potentially double their impact in the community.

“Each and every gift we receive to United Way is important, and with the largest network of partners in the region, it goes farther and wider than any other charitable investment you can make,” stated 2014 Campaign Chair, Ruth Kelly, President and Publisher of Venture Publishing. “But with this new program, specifically for leadership donors, donations could go even farther.”

The announcement came as part of a shared commitment between Edmonton Community Foundation and United Way, in support of End Poverty Edmonton – a movement with a vision to end poverty in a generation.

“United Way and the Edmonton Community Foundation are invested in working together to help even more people during this very challenging economic time.  Now, more than ever, it’s so important for us to find even more ways to show our support to the cause – and find solutions to end poverty in Edmonton,” said Ted Kouri, Edmonton Community Foundation Board Chair.  “This first-ever match program between our organizations will not only contribute to reaching specific targets that create pathways out of poverty, it’s a strong indicator that the End Poverty Edmonton movement is gaining significant momentum.”

The matched donation program is available to new United Way leadership donors (those that choose to give an annual gift ranging from $1,200 to $9,999).  All gifts fitting this criteria will be matched dollar for dollar. United Way’s existing leadership donors who choose to increase their gift in 2015/16, will have the value of their increase matched.

All matched funds will go directly toward helping achieve strategies and targets outlined in United Way’s Impact Scorecard.

“This is first-ever match developed between these organizations and provided by the Edmonton Community Foundation.  This powerful collaboration is a testament to the kind of desire and energy Edmontonians have in changing lives in our city,” said Don Iveson, Mayor of the City of Edmonton. “Indeed, by working together, we can overcome community challenges in strength and numbers. And, yes, poverty is next.”  

In addition to the announcement of the leadership match program, attendees also learned about another match program that will be launched by the Edmonton Community Foundation early next year.  

“I’m also pleased to share today that there is more good news!  There will be another matching grant program coming in the very near future,” announced Kouri.  “The final details will be released as we move into the New Year in 2016, but I can share today that the Edmonton Community Foundation have established a similar matching grant program for all major donations ranging between $10,000 to $25,000 received from individuals and corporations.”

Another highlight of the event was Canadian keynote Tonika “Toni” Morgan who shared her inspiring journey, from Homeless to Harvard, about growing up in poverty and the enormous challenges she overcame through personal determination and support from community organizations.  

Residents who aren’t part of workplace campaigns, but who wish to show their support in addressing poverty in our community, can make donations online at myunitedway.ca or by calling the local United Way office at 780-990-1000.

For more information on United Way’s Impact Scorecard or the Leadership Match Program, please visit myunitedway.ca.

United Way Working to Meet Increased Demand for Backpacks

Edmonton, Alberta – July 22, 2015 – Dozens of  United Way volunteers gathered at the InKind Exchange on Wednesday to build backpacks for the 2015-16 school year, in support of United Way’s Tools for School initiative.  The program provides backpacks filled with school supplies to students in need from kindergarten through to grade 12.  Volunteers sort and organize donated supplies into backpacks to distribute to children and youth in 30 communities throughout Alberta Capital Region.
 
“We are excited to have individuals from our community joining us to build backpacks to support children and youth in our community,” says Jenn Dermott, Tools for School Program Coordinator.  “Without the volunteers we would be unable to keep up with the increasing demand for backpacks.”
 
For several reasons, such as greater community awareness of Tools for School along with the fact that 40,000 children in the Alberta Capital Region are living in poverty, the program has already received more requests for backpacks than last year, even at this early stage.
 
“Last year we distributed 10,318 backpacks, but we’ve already received 10,417 requests for backpacks throughout the Capital Region, so we will distribute more than the previous year,” says Dermott.  “In order to meet the greater demand, we rely on donations and volunteers.”
 
Donations of cash or new schools supplies can be made at any Staples in the Alberta Capital Region or online at the Tools for School website. All school supplies donated and 100% of all monetary contributions to Tools for School are used for the program.  A complete list of approved school supplies and volunteer options can be found at www.toolsforschool.ca.
 
Thank you to our Tools for School Community Partner, Staples and to our community sponsors, ABC Press, City, Edmonton Sun, Edmonton Examiner, and Newcap Radio (CFCW, Capital FM, K-97).
 
About United Way
United Way brings community members together to create pathways out of poverty and make the greatest impact possible on the most pressing social challenges in our community.

 

Community Members Team Up with At-Risk Youth in Sixth Annual UDodge Tournament

Edmonton, Alberta – April 1, 2015. The sound of whizzing dodgeballs could be heard for miles at Northlands Expo Centre Hall F, for United Way’s sixth annual UDodge tournament.  The community dodgeball tournament was created through a collaborative partnership between the Edmonton Police Service (EPS) and United Way of the Alberta Capital Region, with the goal of building relationships between youth and mentors.
 
EPS sees the event as a way to connect with youth, by establishing positive relationships and building potential mentorship opportunities. “This event can have a profound impact on at-risk youth and their future success.  It’s always great to see all the fun being had and relationships being formed,” says EPS Sergeant Michelle Horchuk. “We all leave the tournament with a new understanding for each other and greater respect for community.”
 
United Way’s Senior Vice-President, Allan Undheim and City Councillor, Scott McKeen welcomed participants to the competition. “As a community we are stronger together and benefit from each other’s support,” says Undheim. “By choosing to be here today, you are contributing to the health and wellness of our community.”
 
Ten teams made up of youth and adult players, vied for their chance of being named to 2015 UDodge champions.  “It’s great to see so many of the same faces coming back year after year,” says UDodge Coordinator, Jenn Dermott. “It shows that people really feel that this event is making an impact in their lives.”

Participating teams include youth and corporate community members who represent ATB Financial, Boys & Girls Clubs Big Brothers Big Sisters of Edmonton & Area, Compugen, the Edmonton Police Service, Enbridge, Enterprise Holdings, Epcor, FIRMA Foreign Exchange, Imperial Oil, Northlands, PWC Canada, Saavia, Teggler Youth Centre and United Way of the Alberta Capital Region.

About UDodge
 
UDodge is a community-based event supported by the Edmonton Police Service and United Way of the Alberta Capital Region. It was created to connect youth and adults, to encourage cross-peer interaction and community spirit through play.

Contact:              

Jennifer Herrick
United Way
Tel. 780.863.3583
Email : jherrick@myunitedway.ca

TREMENDOUS SUPPORT SHOWN TOWARD POVERTY REDUCTION

United Way honours supporters and reveals record setting achievement of $24.9 million

EDMONTON, AB – On Thursday, March 5, a sold-out crowd gathered at the Edmonton Expo Centre for United Way’s annual Red Tie Gala, 2014 Awards of Distinction.  Along, with the announcement of a record-breaking achievement, guests were treated to musical entertainment from the winner and finalists of the inaugural My United Way Voice contest, as determined by a community-wide vote.

The awards celebrated many outstanding contributions from organizations, individuals and volunteers to this year’s campaign; but most importantly, called attention to the impact these contributions have in our community toward helping solve poverty.  

Campaign Chair, Ruth Kelly, President and CEO of Venture Publishing, thanked community volunteers, donors and organizations who held workplace campaigns in 2014, highlighting their incredible impact.

“As I’m sure you’re aware, in challenging economic times, more families and individuals risk falling into poverty,” Kelly said.  “But I’m honoured to be able to tell you that even in a time of economic uncertainty, together, we have raised an incredible $24.9 million!”  Kelly noted that $14.3 million of that total – was contributed by employees through workplace giving campaigns.  

She went on to point out the importance of contributions from all sectors and people right across our community, which includes $3.3 million from community-wide donors not associated with a workplace campaign, $1 million in grants from provincial and municipal governments, and $6.3 million from local corporations.  

United Way was also proud to honour three organizations with the Award of Excellence, recognizing campaigns that raised more than $1 million.  Sharing in this prestigious spotlight were: the Provincial Employees’ United Way Campaign ($1.3 million), Enbridge Pipelines Inc. ($1.65 million), and PCL Construction ($2.9 million).

About United Way
United Way brings community members together to create pathways out of poverty and make the greatest impact possible on the most pressing social challenges in our community.

To learn more about United Way and its work with more than 55 community partners, please visit myunitedway.ca

Bissell Centre Opens A Satellite Office on Stony Plain Road

Thirty Bissell Centre staff move into United Way building.

EDMONTON, AB – On November 1, 2014, United Way of the Alberta Capital Region welcomed staff of Bissell Centre to their new satellite office in United Way’s building on Stony Plain Road and 152 street.  The provision of this office space is an in-kind allocation from United Way to Bissell so that they may offer crucial support and services, through Homeless to Homes (H2H) and 24/7 Mobile Assistance Program (MAP).
 
“United Way has always been responsive to the community’s needs and supportive of the Bissell Centre’s mission, of empowering people to move from poverty to prosperity,” says Mark Holmgren, CEO, Bissell Centre. “By providing this space, United Way allows us to establish staff in different locations to help improve relationships with our clients in the west end of Edmonton, as well as create new ones.”
 
The Stony Plain office will house approximately thirty Bissell employees, focused on addressing housing issues for individuals with multiple barriers, as well as offering multiple supports for people with complex needs.  

“Stony Plain Road is a great location for us to be able to deliver our programs, because the need for our services stretches far beyond the downtown core,” says Matt Ashdown, Crisis Diversion and Housing Manger, Bissell Centre.  “Another benefit of having the 24/7 MAP and H2H programs in the same building is that it allows our teams to work more closely together which will help enhance our ability to respond to our client’s needs.”

“The creation of this office space is an example of how United Way and the Bissell Centre are working side-by-side to help improve the lives of people in our community,” says Anne Smith, President and CEO, United Way of the Alberta Capital Region.  “It’s another level of support beyond last year’s funding of the Community Bridge Program and the emergency financial assistance provided by United Way following the Bissell Thrift Shop fire in September 2013.”
 
In addition to this responsive financial assistance, United Way provides regular funding to the Bissell Centre’s Essential and Community Support Services and Volunteer Services programs.

About Homeless to Homes (H2H)
Homeless to Homes (H2H) is based on principles of Housing First which assert that housing should be addressed prior to any other barrier in an individual’s life. Participants in H2H are provided assistance in finding and setting up a market apartment in the neighborhood of their choice. Once moved in, an H2H Follow-up Support Worker works with the participant to develop a Service Plan with the ultimate goal of increased housing stability.

About 24/7 Mobile Assistance Program (MAP)
In partnership with REACH, Homeward Trust, EPS, EMS and 211, the 24/7 Mobile Assistance Program (MAP) team is on Edmonton’s streets 24 hours a day, 365 days a year responding to people in need. The MAP team offers immediate help, freeing police and ambulances to focus more on emergencies, and connects people to housing and follow-up supports to deal with the underlying causes of their crises.

About United Way
United Way brings community members together to create pathways out of poverty and make the greatest impact possible on the most pressing social challenges in our community.

Community on the Right Track to Help Solve Poverty

Thousands of lives changed already as United Way reaches campaign mid-point.
 
EDMONTON, AB – Thursday morning, hundreds of community members, dressed in their best western attire, came together to celebrate the tremendous progress of workplace fundraising campaigns, at United Way’s Round Up Breakfast at the Shaw Conference Centre. 

The sound of train whistles filled the room as it was announced that $14.3 million has been raised to date, but the real focus was on the thousands of people living in poverty who will receive help – and the positive impact that donations are making, right here in the Alberta Capital Region. 

2014 Campaign Chair, Ruth Kelly, President and Publisher of Venture Publishing, commended everyone for their efforts so far and encouraged them to keep the momentum going. “We are not done yet – we have many steps to go before the end of this year – and even larger strides to make if we are to create the kind of impact we have set-out to achieve over the next three years,” she said.  “But I have every bit of confidence and faith in this community – in all of you – to make significant inroads to achieving these milestones,” said Kelly.

United Way has traditionally set an annual campaign fundraising target, but this year -- with the release of a new community impact scorecard -- longer-term goals have been set for both dollars raised and impact on the lives of people living in poverty.  While this year's campaign is expected to exceed the $23 million mark, the goal is for the annual campaign target to reach the $30 million dollar level by 2016.  The fundraising targets will be significant, but the greatest achievements will be seen through the 22,000 additional people who stand to be helped over this three-year time period.  This goes above and beyond the lives already being impacted through strategies and programs outlined in the scorecard.

Over 500 people attended the breakfast event, including volunteers, CEOs, workplace campaign donors, community leaders and dignitaries from the Alberta Capital Region.  Several companies were acknowledged for their outstanding efforts, including, Enbridge Pipelines who raised nearly $1.5 million for community and PCL Construction and its employees, who once again broke their own fundraising record by raising $2.9 million this year.

To learn more about United Way, the community impact scorecard and specific targets over the next three years, please visit myunitedway.ca.
 
About United Way
United Way brings community members together to create pathways out of poverty and make the greatest impact possible on the most pressing social challenges in our community.

CONTACT INFORMATION:
Nancy Critchley, Director, Communications, United Way of the Alberta Capital Region     
Office: 780-443-8381 Mobile: 780-909-1794 Email: ncritchley@myunitedway.ca      

PCL Donates Thousands of Books Collected from United Way Campaign

Edmonton, AB (October 15, 2014) – This Friday, PCL Construction will be delivering over 5000 children’s books collected during its recent United Way campaign to the Norwood Child and Family Resource Centre.  This effort is to help increase the number of children entering school with age-appropriate early literacy skills. Representatives from Norwood, United Way, and PCL will be on hand for media interviews.  

Date: FRIDAY OCTOBER 17, 2014
Time: 1:30pm
Location: 9516 114 Avenue, Norwood Child and Family Resource Centre
Visual: Delivering boxes of books and bookshelves into the centre. Stocking book shelves. Norwood plans on having kids/family to be reading and available to speak to as well.

About the PCL family of companies

PCL is a group of independent construction companies that carries out work across Canada, the United States, the Caribbean, and in Australia. These diverse operations in the civil infrastructure, heavy industrial, and buildings markets are supported by a strategic presence in 31 major centers. Together, these companies have an annual construction volume of more than $7.5 billion, making PCL the largest contracting organization in Canada and one of the largest in North America. Watch us build at pcl.com.


For media inquiries, please contact:

Shane Jones
Media Relations Specialist
PCL Construction
(780) 733-5107
srjones@pcl.com

PCL Construction Breaks Own United Way Fundraising Record

Edmonton, AB (Oct. 8, 2014) – PCL Construction’s Edmonton-area companies wrapped up their annual United Way fundraising campaign by reaching the highest total they’ve ever raised. An amazing $2.9 million dollars will be donated towards efforts to solve poverty in the Alberta Capital Region.

“Once again this campaign showed the dedication and compassion of PCLers in giving back to their community,” said PCL campaign chair and construction manager Mike Staines. “I couldn’t be more proud of my colleagues and our entire organization for making this monumental achievement possible to support the United Way and its member agencies.”

This campaign’s record-breaking total of $2.9 million eclipses last year’s record donation of $2.45 million. Once again, this is the largest donation from a private-sector contributor ever received by the local United Way. Including this year’s campaign total, PCL has now donated $17.7 million to Alberta’s Capital Region Agency.

“When we think about collective action and leadership in our community, PCL is always top of mind. Not only are they leaders in their field of business, they are truly leaders in community support and philanthropy,” said Anne Smith, president and CEO, United Way of the Alberta Capital Region. “They set a lofty goal and we were confident, based on their incredible support in past years, they would meet or beat it. But when they revealed a total of nearly $3 million dollars it surpassed anything we expected, and demonstrated, once again, how committed PCL is to our community,” continued Smith. “The leadership and commitment from PCL will play a big role in helping thousands of people find their pathway out of poverty.” 

PCL’s annual campaign involves employees taking part in numerous special donation events, giving money, time, and designated items. This year, PCLers also donated over 10,000 children’s books, which will go to disadvantaged children in our community.

“We are so excited to have an opportunity to be part of PCL's literacy initiative,” said Bev Parks, executive director for the Norwood Child & Family Resource Centre. “Having a company in our community that sees literacy as one of our society's foundational blocks speaks to its dedication and commitment to all children and families.”

PCL began partnering with United Way in 1969. Districts throughout North America take part in annual campaigns to help raise money for local United Way agencies. Last year, PCL Construction donated over $7 million dollars to agencies in Canada and the US.

About PCL Construction

PCL is a group of independent construction companies that carries out work across Canada, the United States, the Caribbean, and in Australia. These diverse operations in the civil infrastructure, heavy industrial, and buildings markets are supported by a strategic presence in 31 major centers. Together, these companies have an annual construction volume of more than $7.5 billion, making PCL the largest contracting organization in Canada and one of the largest in North America. Watch us build at PCL.com.

For media inquiries, please contact:
Shane Jones
Media Relations Specialist
PCL family of companies
(780) 733-5107
srjones@pcl.com

United Way introduces first-ever impact scorecard

Campaign kickoff highlights three-year goal and specific impact targets.

EDMONTON, AB – On Wednesday, September 17th, close to 900 community supporters gathered at the Shaw Conference Centre for United Way of the Alberta Capital Region’s annual fundraising kickoff.  

With a theme of “Poverty is Solvable,” this year’s goal announcement was very different than in the past.  Instead of putting a spotlight on the annual fundraising target, the goal focused on targets outlined in an Impact Scorecard and the number of people who will be helped, using a cumulative three-year campaign target.  

In step with commitments shared at the June 2013 launch of United Way’s new direction for Creating Pathways Out of Poverty, the organization spent the last year working with partners and shaping five impact strategies.  Reaching the targets set out in the strategies will help our community move beyond managing the symptoms of poverty and closer toward the vision of eliminating it.

“Our vision isn’t just about stopping poverty from growing. In one of the most prosperous regions in North America, we know that poverty should not exist at all,” stated 2014 Campaign Chair, Ruth Kelly, President and CEO of Venture Publishing.  “We are inspired by the work that has been done, but now, we need to aspire to do more – that’s exactly what these five strategies propose.”

Based on United Way’s three focus areas – education, income and wellness, the Impact Scorecard states the number of people currently being helped through existing support, which must continue.  But it goes further to share the number of additional people who will be helped over the next three-year period, with support from our community.

“If we reach all the targets set out in the scorecard, by 2016 we will have helped an additional 22,000 people in our community,” explained Ruth Kelly in her address to the audience. “The new United Way has a clear cause…a bold vision…and, as you can see through the scorecard, strategies that will help move us further along than we’ve ever been in United Way’s focus areas of Education, Income and Wellness.”    

She also stressed that people cannot be helped without finances in place to deliver the supports, but said that the mindset must be moved from the number being a dollar cap and instead, focus it on the people who need help.  She challenged the crowd to help as many people as possible, so instead of bringing forward a financial target, she posed the question: “How many people do you want to help in our community?”     

In addition to the presentation of the Impact Scorecard, comedian and keynote speaker, Don Burnstick spoke about his own struggles with poverty.   Burnstick told the story of his life living on the streets of Edmonton, plagued by alcohol and drug addiction and how, with support and help, he overcame these complex issues. 

Today, he enjoys a clean life, and focuses on bringing joy and laughter to others.  

Residents who aren’t part of workplace campaigns, but who wish to show their support in addressing poverty in our community, can make donations online at myunitedway.ca or by calling the local United Way office at 780-990-1000.

For more information on United Way, and the newly released Impact Scorecard, please visit myunitedway.ca.

About United Way
United Way brings community members together to create pathways out of poverty and make the greatest impact possible on the most pressing social challenges in our community.

CONTACT INFORMATION:
For more information or to coordinate interviews, please contact:

Nancy Critchley
Director, Communications
United Way of the Alberta Capital Region
p. 780-443-8381  c. 780-909-1794
ncritchley@myunitedway.ca