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Home / Donor Impact Report / Donor Impact Report – January 2023
Do Local Good - January 2023
I am often deeply moved by the resilience and strength of newcomers to Canada. It’s not easy to start fresh, especially for newcomers escaping violence and persecution. It’s even harder when you don’t speak the language, you don’t know anyone, and you’re not sure where to go for help. But newcomers aren’t alone.
Our region is full of dedicated and innovative organizations and initiatives that are there when people need them the most. And I am so proud of the good work that our region’s non-profits do. That’s why United Way’s approach brings together a collaborative network of social agencies, organizations, and governments to address the diverse and complex needs of community members, including newcomers.
Many newcomers face challenges when settling in Canada, including racism and language barriers, high costs of the immigration or asylum processes, and difficulty navigating a system that may be very different from the one they are used to. Not only that, but our new neighbours may be fleeing from oppression, violence, or trauma that has caused them to leave their home and family behind.
These barriers could cause newcomers to fall through the cracks, but by coming together, we can help lift people up.
When you donate to United Way, you aren’t just investing in 100 local programs and services in the Edmonton region.
You’re investing in a brighter future for students.
You’re investing in a small business.
You’re investing in the magic of a first winter.
You’re investing in a new start.
Every day, I’m inspired by the small moments that show the potential that we have in our community to help each other. The Edmonton region truly is a place where we roll up our sleeves to change things for the better.
With your help, we make a transformative difference in the lives of our newest neighbours and welcome them home.
President & CEO
For nearly three decades, United Way of the Alberta Capital Region’s Tools for School initiative has been there to help families and kids access the supplies they need to be set up for success in school.
Though unprecedented demand caused concern that the program might not be able to meet the need for thousands of backpacks in 2022, our dedicated supporters from across the region came through to help every kid start the school year on an equal footing.
In fact, this school year, Tools for School was able to provide 16,289 backpacks to students across the region — far surpassing what was anticipated when the Tools for School campaign began in June.
After coming to Canada as a Syrian refugee, Moumenah took part in an Empower U course through Islamic Family and Social Services Association, a local agency focused on providing spiritually and culturally sensitive social services. There, Moumenah built her financial confidence and learned to navigate the Canadian banking system.
Empower U is a United Way program that provides participants with financial literacy training and a matched savings program. Islamic Family’s iteration of the program is tailored to meet the unique needs of its participants by offering programming in English, Arabic, Somali, Urdu, Punjabi, and Hindi, and includes lessons on newcomer supports and the differences between Canadian banking and Islamic banking.
Inflationary pressures, the rising cost of living, and increased newcomer settlement to the Edmonton region has created a high demand for the Coats for Kids & Families program to provide warm winter gear those who cannot afford to buy it.
This year, United Way of the Alberta Capital Region has set a goal of collecting 9,000 winter outerwear items through its annual collection drive in support of local individuals and families.
“With everyone still struggling, we’re anticipating that we will see a spike in demand,” explains Suzi Medhurst, United Way’s program manager for Coats for Kids & Families."
As of December 1, 6,480 items had been requested by 45 local non-profits to distribute to people in need. Donating new or gently used coats, snowpants, mitts, boots, and hats will greatly help United Way meet the urgent needs of people across our region.