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Home / News / 4 ways to do local good this holiday season (and all year long)
December 8, 2022
It’s the season of friendship, generosity, magic, and goodwill toward all. As you’re making a list and checking it twice, consider adding “a stronger and more resilient community” to your notes.
Your support of United Way of the Alberta Capital Region is so much more than a one-time gift — it’s an investment in your neighbours, your community, and our collective future. And while it’s never a bad idea to get into the spirit of giving this time of year, you make an even bigger impact when you’re able to sustain your investment year-round.
When you support United Way, you are an important part of a movement with others who share your social purpose. Together, your actions and resources multiply impact right here at home.
Here are four ways to get started doing local good.
Investment: 4 people spend one hour volunteering to sort coats
Impact: 100 people stay warm throughout Edmonton’s cold winters
Volunteering with United Way’s Days of Caring is a great way to help your community, while also connecting with friends, family, or co-workers. United Way relies on the support of volunteers for many of our programs, like Coats for Kids & Families, Tools for School, and The Kid Kit®.
By volunteering your time, United Way can invest more donor dollars into the community. When volunteers take on the collection, sorting, and cleaning for in-kind donations, United Way’s frontline partners can focus on delivering services that people rely on.
Volunteer opportunities in December fill up quickly, but Days of Caring are available year-round. Find a frequency that is easy to maintain in your schedule and set a recurring reminder to sign up for Days of Caring so you can continue to make an impact in the community year-round.
Investment: $1 per day
Impact: $365 can provide 12 families with The Kid Kit®, ensuring they have the tools and skills that support healthy early childhood development and set them up for success.
It doesn’t take a lot of money to do a lot of local good. You can be an Everyday Hero by making a small investment that has a big impact now, and in the future.
For example, your donation could add up to 12 families receiving The Kid Kit, a powerful child development tool that has positive ripple effects through a child’s entire life. It helps parents bond with their children, which helps children be prepared for school, which means they are more likely to graduate high school and break the cycle of poverty.
If your workplace takes part in a United Way campaign, you may be able to donate via payroll deductions. If not, you can set up monthly credit card payments through United Way’s safe and secure website, or by contacting the Service Hub.
Investment: $1.25 per month per employee provides free period products at work
Impact: Better quality of life for those who need period products, reduced employee absenteeism, and improved accessibility in the workplace.
Monthly menstruation products are a necessity, but for vulnerable people they can be hard to come by. And that barrier to a basic need can limit a person’s ability to work and provide for themselves. It also impacts their dignity, health, and wellbeing. In fact, menstruation is one of the top two reasons that people who menstruate miss work in Canada.
United Way’s Period Promise initiative is devoted to making fundamental change so that we can eradicate period poverty in our communities. Part of achieving that goal includes working with governments, businesses, unions, and other organizations to change policy.
To support this, United Way has a Policy Agreement that organizations can sign onto, committing to provide free menstrual products in their washrooms— ensuring these products are accessible to everybody, everywhere that there are periods. In turn, you’ll improve quality of life for those who need period products, and signal that you care about making a more equitable future in our community.
Investment: A box of 40 tampons is about $10
Impact: A vulnerable person will have enough product for two menstrual cycles, meaning they can continue to work, learn, and fully participate in their community with dignity.
Sometimes, you just want to give a tangible item.
Hosting or participating in a product collection drive is a great way to rally your friends, family, or co-workers around a cause you all care about. Collecting donations through a product drive makes a tangible difference in the lives of people in our community.
United Way accepts backpacks and school supplies from June to September to help prepare students for the start of school in the fall, while we collect winterwear items from October to February to keep our community warm during our harsh winters. And since periods are year-round, we accept menstrual products year-round, too. Product drives can be a great way to bring a social purpose to personal celebrations like your birthday or holiday party, or to a teambuilding exercise.
When you make an in-kind donation to United Way, your donation is processed and delivered to our frontline partner agencies, who get them into the hands of community members who need them the most.
United Way takes on the collection, sorting, and processing, while frontline partners focus on delivering services that people rely on. By bringing people and organizations together and providing support to people in need, we increase the impact for good in the Edmonton area.
Maritza shares her story of escaping Colombia and coming to Canada as a refugee, and how her experience – and the support she received from United Way-funded programs – helped her rebuild her life.
You can make this holiday season warm and bright for thousands of people in need. Help fill the Fort Edmonton Park train with Coats for Kids & Families donations at The Edmonton Christmas Market.
United Way of the Alberta Capital Region is rallying residents of the metropolitan region to support our most vulnerable community members during a season of urgent need.