2019/20 Annual Report - United Way Alberta Capital Region

2019/20 Annual Report

United Way of the Alberta Capital Region looks at the big picture in order to deliver a coordinated network of services and programs to address a range of needs for children and families who are struggling. By bringing together partners and strategies, we are mobilizing collective action to create pathways out of poverty. Read below to learn about the many ways the community came together over this past year to make an impact.

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A Message from the Chair of the Board and the President & CEO

2019 was another exciting year of collaboration and community building at United Way. Businesses, governments, charities, and caring individuals worked in new and exciting ways to pool resources and rally together to address poverty as a community. This collaborative approach has led to some significant milestones being reached over the past year.

The Community Mental Health Action Plan, a collaboration working to improve the quality of and access to local mental health services, launched a new website which acts as a valuable hub of resources for service providers, organizations and individuals interested in learning about mental health.

Not to be outdone, 211 also launched a new website this year and is now accessible by text, phone and online. In addition, they launched a special student initiative that will help countless students in need. Alberta students can now text the word “student” to 211 or use the live chat feature on 211’s website anytime to be connected to programs and services on-campus and in their community.

Supporters also partnered with United Way in new ways this past year. Local community leaders including His Worship Mayor Iveson joined United Way’s efforts by sharing why poverty is unignorable to them. Their video messages were featured on an interactive video wall that travelled to various community hubs throughout our region, including such prime locations as the Royal Alberta Museum and Terwillegar Rec Centre.

We were also pleased to bring together six Edmonton-based post-secondary institutions to present Elevating Futures, a first-of-its-kind initiative in Canada that empowered post-secondary students and faculty to address local poverty with a commitment to expand understanding, explore solutions and experience what we can accomplish together.

Our community is helping change the face of local issues like mental health and removing barriers to critical services. Community leaders and local students are stepping up to make a difference. We are continually amazed by actions of caring people in our region and all that they are doing to create a place where everyone has the chance to reach their full potential. United, we are changing local lives for the better.

Bob McGee

Chair, 2019 Board of Directors

Rob Yager

President and CEO

We are Focused on Impact

United Way’s results-based approach focuses on the three areas that provide the best opportunities to significantly change lives and social conditions. Each area concentrates on specific needs and connects with programs and services to make the greatest impact possible. At the same time, considering that individuals struggling with poverty often experience multiple issues and need help in more than one area, the three focus areas are intrinsically linked.

Break the Cycle

Desired Results:

1. Early Learning and Development – Children have the age appropriate skills and development in the early years (0-5).

2. Child and Youth Success – Children and youth have the community supports they need to succeed in school.

Lift People Out

Desired Results:

1. Financial Stability – People have the knowledge, skills and resources needed to attain financial stability.

2. Employment and Basic Security – Individuals have the capacity to obtain and retain employment that provides for basic economic security.

Provide a Safety Net

Desired Results:

1. Comprehensive Mental Health Supports – Individuals and families have access to comprehensive mental health supports.

2. Basic Needs – People are able to access and maintain their basic needs.

3. Easy Access to Network of Supports – Individuals and families can access a network of community supports to address their needs.

Impact Story

Kaitlyn was homeless and hungry. Then thanks to donors like you, she was able to receive meals that allowed her to focus on her future instead of hunger. Now, she is housed and healthy and has a rewarding career.

Our 2019 Campaign Success

2020 Audited Financial Statements

A Message from the Campaign Co-Chairs

It has been amazing to see the momentum build in our community to tackle the #UNIGNORABLE issue of local poverty. Over 18,000 donors, 1,000 volunteers and more than 400 companies came together to give back to their community during the 2019 campaign.

Over 500 people gathered at the Edmonton Convention Centre in September to help Kickoff our campaign where they learned about all of the amazing work happening through the Financial Pathways Collaborative. Attendees heard how this unique partnership of seven financial institutions works with United Way to provide financial empowerment, a match savings program and education to individuals in our community with limited resources.

Passionate volunteers fuelled their workplace campaigns with creativity and ingenuity, leading to some amazing results. We saw the creation of educational podcasts, social media challenges and an Amazing Race reenactment, just to name a few.

Organizations joined together to create unique partnerships including a community Skate for United Way event at Roger’s Place put on by the City and a #YEG Stair Climb Challenge put on by a new Downtown Collaborative of businesses.

Nineteen Sponsored Campaign Representatives from 14 companies and 46 Corporate Solutions Cabinet members supported efforts and were invaluable boots on the ground.

These efforts along with the efforts of donors and volunteers from across our region made it possible for over 257,000 local people to get support in a time of need last year. It’s simply amazing what we can accomplish when we join forces.

That’s what makes the Alberta Capital Region such a special place — we come together as a community in unique and powerful ways. When we work united, we strengthen our region and its future. It has been such a fulfilling experience being a part of this campaign and we are so proud of our community and everything it has done to help create pathways out of poverty for those in need.

Carolyn Campbell

Corporate Solutions Cabinet Co-Chair

Andre Corbould

Corporate Solutions Cabinet Co-Chair

Awards of Distinction

Awards of Distinction are presented to organizations that generate outstanding results in their workplace and corporate campaigns.

George Letki Outstanding Volunteer
Michelle Devlin

Power of Many Award
Downtown Collaborative – #YEG Stair Climb Challenge

Leading the Way Award
Imperial & Unifor Local 21A

Small Business Award
Reliance Home Comfort

Big Idea Award

Everyday Hero Award
PCL Construction

GenNext Award

Welcome to United Way Award
The Colombian

Education & Engagement Award
North West Paving Ltd.

Labour Awards of Distinction
Health Sciences Association of Alberta

Funded Partner Campaign Award
Connect Society – Deafness Education Advocacy & Family Services

Outstanding Committee Member of the Year
Daina Semotiuk, Deloitte.

Employee Campaign Chair of the Year, Private Sector
Andrew Skinner & Shivangi Nagarajan – Magna IV Engineering

Employee Campaign Chair of the Year, Public Sector
Jenny Albers – City of Edmonton

Campaign Committee of the Year
Alberta Blue Cross

Donors & Volunteers

Our Supporters

Partners play an integral role in the implementation of United Way’s work in the region.

View Program Supports

Corporate Supporters

We appreciate the efforts of the companies who help make the Alberta Capital Region a better place to live and work.

Alberta Community & Social Services / Children’s Services
Alberta Health Services
Alberta Justice and Solicitor General
Brownlee LLP
Canadian Western Bank
Chandos Construction Ltd.
Dentons Canada LLP
Finning (Canada)
Ogilvie LLP
RBC Royal Bank
Service Alberta
Servus Credit Union
Suncor Inc.

Alberta Blue Cross
BMO Financial Group
Capital Power
Costco Wholesale
Dow Canada
Pembina Pipeline Corporation
TD Bank Group
Wheaton Group

ATB Financial
City of Edmonton

Shell Canada Limited

Imperial & Unifor Local 21A
University of Alberta

Government of Canada Workplace Charitable Campaign

Provincial Employees’ United Way Campaign

PCL Construction

Campaign Representatives are seconded to United Way to support more than 400 charitable giving campaigns across the region. During this 16-week term, Campaign Representatives brainstorm solutions, provide advice, facilitate services and resources, and deliver training to thousands of volunteers.

Alberta Blue Cross
Alberta Gaming, Liquor and Cannabis Commission
ATCO Pipelines & Liquids Global Business Unit
Government of Canada Workplace Charitable Campaign
Government of Alberta
Imperial & Unifor Local 21A
PCL Construction
TD Bank Group
University of Alberta
WorleyParsons Edmonton

Labour and United Way of the Alberta Capital Region share the goal of making the community a healthy place to live, work and raise a family.

Alberta Federation of Labour
Alberta Union of Provincial Employees
Alberta Workers’ Health Centre
Canadian Labour Congress
Canadian Office & Professional Employees – Local 458
Canadian Union of Postal Workers Local 730
Canadian Union of Public Employees Local 3550
Canadian Union of Public Employees Local 474
Canadian Union of Public Employees Regional Office
Civic Service Union Local 52
Edmonton & District Labour Council
General Teamsters Local 362
Health Sciences Association of Alberta
International Association of Machinists & Aerospace Workers Local 1722
International Association of Machinists & Aerospace Workers Local Lodge 99
Unifor Local 21A – IOL
Unifor Local 1947
Unifor Local 350
Unifor Local 4050
Unifor Local 445
Unifor Local 530A
Unifor Local 777
Union No. 52 Benevolent Society
United Food & Commercial Workers Local 401
United Steelworkers Local 1-207

Established in Edmonton in 1941, the United Way of the Alberta Capital Region is a mainstay in our community, which is only possible with the ongoing commitment of local supporters. A number of local businesses and organizations have been with United Way, working to create a better community for everyone for the last 50 years.

Air Liquide Canada Inc.
Alberta Motor Association
AltaGas Utilities Inc. & UNIFOR Local 1947
AltaSteel Ltd.
Argus Machine Co. Ltd.
ATCO Pipelines & Liquids Global Business Unit
Aviva Insurance Company of Canada
Bissell Centre
Building Products of Canada Corp.
Canada Life
Canadian Mental Health Association-Edmonton Region
Canadian Pacific Railway
Celanese EVA Performance Polymers Partnership
Chivers Carpenter Lawyers
Coca-Cola Refreshments
Connect Society – Deafness Education Advocacy & Family Services
Crosstown Motors (1982) Ltd.
Crystal Glass Canada Ltd.
Dawson Motors Ltd.
DLA Piper (Canada) LLP
Edmonton Chamber of Commerce
Edmonton John Howard Society
Edmonton Public Schools
Edmonton Social Planning Council
Emery Jamieson
Finning Canada
Ford Motor Company of Canada Ltd.
General Motors of Canada Company
IBM Canada Ltd.

Intact Financial Corporation
Investors Group Financial Services Inc.
Jewish Family Services
Ledcor Group
Lloyd, Sadd Insurance Ltd.
Manulife Financial
Melcor Developments Ltd.
Metal Fabricators and Welding Ltd.
Millar Western Forest Products Ltd.
O’Hanlon Paving Ltd. & The Fath Group
PCL Construction
Praxair Canada Inc.
Provincial Employees’ United Way Campaign
RBC Royal Bank
Sobeys West
Spartan Controls Ltd.
Spinal Cord Injury Association Alberta
Staples Canada
TD Bank Group
The Alberta Teachers’ Association
The Family Centre
The Workun Garrick Partnership Architecture and Interior Design Inc.
Trans Mountain Pipeline
Universe Machine Corporation
Wawanesa Mutual Insurance Co.
Wheaton Group
Xerox Canada Ltd.
YMCA of Northern Alberta
YWCA Edmonton


Community volunteers support our Information Services and InKind Exchange.

Abbas Abbadi
Robert Beghin,
Doug Kreklywich
Jacob Manavalan
Ali Muneer
Matthew Pasechnik
Cam Reid
Anne Starreveld
Des Williamson
Colleen Mahon
Lara Wiebe

The Labour Participation Committee builds on the long-standing commitment of labour unionists to support United Way through fundraising and volunteering.

Elaine Alt
Deborah Foster
Darlene Lewis
Kathie Goldie
Garry Pucci
Greg Mady
Heather Erlen / Cori Longo

Speakers share their personal experiences and knowledge to provide awareness and inspire social change.

Impact Speakers
Abby Gauthier/Liz Bremner
Alex Bedard
Amber Harry
Barb Spencer/Rachel Myroniuk
Bonnie Caron
Brittany Tyerman
Cassandra Rijavec
Cheryl Whiskeyjack
Chrystal Henry
Cindy McDonald
Cindy Yanciw
Coral Desautels
Corey Dodge
Danisha Bhaloo
Darby Walton
Della Massey
Della Massey & Emanuelle
Donna Lemieux
Edgar Jackson
Eileen Papulkas
Elizabeth Eaton
Elizabeth Halpin
Emma Potter
Gail Haynes
Grace Schmuland
Heather Boonstra
Ian Amundson
Jenna Brewer
Jimmy Morrison
Karen Kadatz
Kim Chung
Kristen Hugette
Kristi Davis
Kristin Raworth
Laurie Anderson
Leisa Tarr
Lincoln Nanquawetung
Liz Lacika
Mark Doram(Judy Yawney)
Marnie Lee
Megan Strachan
Michael Hansen
Natalie Stiffl
Neil Campbell
Nicole Ram
Patricia Skagen-Emokpae
Rea Naidoo
Richard Ouellette
Ron Campbell
Samantha Maese
Sara Riddle
Stephanie Wright
Sue Languedoc
Suzanne Gross
Talia Shewchuk Maget
Tanaura Seon
Tanya Tellier-McCandless
Taylor Seal
Tina Kafka
Tokunbo Adegbuyi

Leaders of the Way Speakers
Catrin Owen, City of Edmonton
Corinna Mulyk, Government of Alberta
Evangeline Berube, Robert Half
Michelle Furlong, Enbridge
Tyler Tollefson, Business Excellence Group Inc.
Wendy Rabel, Stantec

Council member volunteers are community and social service sector experts who are responsible for identifying community needs and evaluating programs that receive United Way funding.

Adrienne Lubberding
Cindy de Bruijn
Darcey Huot
Dena Pederson
Krimsen Sumners
Mervin Gallant
Micheal Evancusky
Pamela Robinson
Rhonda Nixon
Vicky White
Cassandra Lundell
Amanda Ulrickson
Cheryl Diebel
Lynn Olenek
Robyn Blackadar
Bree Claude
Keith Gibson
Rene Robertson-Potisk
Wade Gardiner
Dean Ohnysty
Donna Brock
Giselle Messer
Len Grainger
Nancy Laing
Nicole Johnston
Pearl Gregor
Jody Greidanus
Ashli Dejong
Krista Allan
Shannon Fluker
Trevor Vezina
Ron Wurtz
Alex Draper
Ashish Mehta
Brian Sawyer
Carole Alves-Cornell
Chris Astle
Don Gordon
Eric Storey
Jasmine Brazil
Jessica Carlson
Julianne Threlfall
Kairi Pawlick
Kalie Van Ree
Kathryn Charr
Lisa Jensen
Mike Capus
Raelene Finlayson
Rosanne Tollenaar
Sal Karmali
Shannon Butler
Steve Davis
T.J. Auer
Vicki Cooke

The volunteers who make up United Way’s Board of Directors come from business, government, health and social service sectors and the community at large.

Robert McGee
Dr. Heather Caltagirone
Todd Gilchrist
Rob Yager
Glen Anderson
Robert de Guzman
Bryan DeNeve
John Elford
Bruce Fafard
Jane Halford
Louise Hayes
Yasmin Jivraj
Gord Johnston
Shannon Peacocke
Jamie Pytel
Suromitra Sanatani
Leon Zupan
Alan Skoreyko

Corporate Solutions Cabinet is a roster of senior-level leaders from all sectors – business, government, post-secondary and labour – who dedicate themselves to leading and delivering a successful campaign.

Carolyn Campbell, 2019 Co-Chair
Andre Corbould, 2019 Co-Chair
Sarah Chan, Past Co-chair
Angelina Bakshi
Ankita Menon
Brad Campbell
Cal Jungwirth
Evangeline Berube
Ray Guidinger
Scott Janis
Tyler Tollefson
Anastasia Lim
Bryan Christy
Catrin Owen
Chris Pullen
Colin Lechelt
Corinna Mulyk
D’arcy Newberry
Darlene Bouwsema
Lt. Col Darren Hart
David Oldreive
Dayna Jongejan
Glen Eastwood
Gord Johnston
Gord Syme
Greg Mady
Greg Wengreniuk
Joel White
Judy Mayer
Kristin Raworth
Marion Haggarty-France
Michael Brechtel
Michelle Devlin
Michelle Furlong
Norm Halabi
Pauline Smale
Rob Yager
Robert Kisteleki
Robin Murray
Scott Arndt
Scott Claypool
Tony Prsa
Vanessa Croissant

Engaging our Community

211 Alberta

211 is a comprehensive referral service soon to be available to all Albertans. In 2019, 211 announced a province-wide expansion, providing this vital service in all communities across Alberta. A hub that connects all Albertans with essential services within their region 24/7, 211 response is available in 170 languages. Text services were introduced in the last year, allowing individuals to access 211 through live chats, text messaging and, in many locations, by telephone.

In preparation for this expansion, the 211 database grew to include 21 new communities, 62 new organizations and 235 new program listings. A total of more than 70,000 contacts by phone, text and online chat were received in 2019.

YEG Downtown Collaboration

The YEG Downtown Collaboration was established in 2019. Five partners came together to support the work of United Way through a mission of connecting downtown organizations to their neighbours in a caring and helpful way through education, engagement, and fundraising. Each year, this volunteer-led initiative will coordinate one major event that not only raises money for United Way but also increases the profile of the work being done in our community to create pathways out of poverty. In 2019, more than 100 people participated in the group’s inaugural event, the YEG Stair Climb, by climbing 22 flights of stairs and raising close to $2,000 in support of local programs and services through United Way. To learn more about this initiative and what’s being planned next, follow it on Twitter, @downtown_yeg, or Facebook, @yegdtc.

Elevating Futures

Six Edmonton-based post-secondary institutions and United Way of the Alberta Capital Region came together to form the one-of-a-kind initiative, Elevating Futures. This initiative included participation in a United Way Poverty Simulation. Students and faculty from across our region were able to expand their understanding of what children, families and individuals face when living in poverty by participating. This unique experience helped challenge perceptions, change perspectives and strengthen understanding and empathy. The simulation replicated a month in the life of a family living in poverty and challenged participants to provide basic needs to their family with a limited income.

Community Mental Health Action Plan

The Community Mental Health Action Plan is a partnership of more than 50 organizations working to maximize supports and services to all organizations addressing mental health and addiction in Edmonton and Alberta. This includes the implementation of the Mental Health Training Framework and the expansion of 211 across the province. In 2019, 282 medical students and security guards learned through the Community Mental Health Action Plan how adverse childhood experiences and trauma affect their work with vulnerable people.

What People are Saying

Discover the inspiring words, videos, and posts of community members united in fighting #UNIGNORABLE local poverty.


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