Bowhay Family's Story - United Way Alberta Capital Region

Bowhay Family’s Story

September 13, 2022


Whether it’s requesting birthday gifts be donations to save endangered animals or volunteering time to community organizations, the Bowhay family values giving back to their community.

Sheryl: I believe you pass on your values by doing not telling. We’ve been given the opportunity to be able to give the gift of time, in addition to the gift of financial support. I think it’s so important that people realize that philanthropy exists in many different ways.

I’m a teacher and, as an educator, you really recognize how vulnerable youth and children are. The circumstances in which they’re in are not their doing so often. And it’s so vital that those around them – the family, the school, the community – are there to help them and create opportunity. Because in that early intervention, we see dramatic change and its impacts – I think the impact is just so huge at that entry level in our youth. We see that in our lives, in our community.

Bob: When you see the need and you have the opportunity to support it, that’s what you do. The United Way gives us the capacity to make an impact on the community and gives us the opportunity to do that. We know that the funds are well stewarded, you know the programs are researched. For us to do that as an individual and try to make that impact with our dollars will take a lot of time and is probably beyond the scope of what we’re capable of doing. I saw firsthand how United Way does that. So, once you understand what United Way is doing and the impact it has on the community, we decided we needed to support it.

When you see the need and you have the opportunity to support it, that’s what you do.

– Bob Bowhay

Both Bowhay youth recognize the family value of giving doesn’t have to wait until they are adults.

Connor: For my birthday sometimes, I ask for a little bit, maybe a twoonie, from all my friends instead of a present and I donate that.

Hailey: By volunteering and donating time and other resources, it gives more people the ability to do that. So that’s very important.

Bob: We’re only as strong as our weakest link. If we’re able to help strengthen that weakest link, we hope to strengthen our entire community.

Sheryl: That’s what the United Way does, it improves people’s lives. It creates opportunity.