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Home / News / James’ Story
September 13, 2022
James gives to United Way because he wants to bring down barriers for all in our region.
As soon as I finished university I landed in a good circumstance. By some definitions I’m now in the one percent.
I learned through United Way that about one in 10 people in the Alberta Capital Region lives in poverty. If I can help level the playing field, I’m definitely going to do what is within my means.
I think donating to the United Way connects to the core of my values system. I derive meaning from the relationships and connections I create with people. Things that break down barriers and encourage diversity are important to me.
I give because I want to see that statistic of one in 10 go down to zero. It’s not going to happen overnight but that is the ultimate measure of success for me.
I’m a firm believer in education as a path out of poverty. I know that education is one of the three key focus areas for United Way. It’s the best way for people to escape poverty because it opens doors to opportunities so people can make their own way.
James Freeman sees giving to United Way as part of his larger responsibility to give back to society.
Helping people get through current difficulties is important, but helping them help themselves is even better and leads to a sustainable solution. If we can create a means where people can stand on their own in the future and build their self-esteem, that’s the best path forward. Education is a means to achieve this.
Giving and seeing outcomes provides me with a sense of purpose. I recognize that I have limits in my skill sets, in my time, and in my knowledge. I give money to organizations who have capabilities that I don’t.
That’s why I am grateful for United Way. There are things that they can do that I can’t, there are places that they can be where I can’t and they have the time that I don’t.
When COVID-19 hit, Aylisa worried about how she would be able to give the participants in her program hope. Many were facing eviction, mounting utility bills, or obstacles to being able to work.
When Charles found out that schools were closing at the same time his mom’s work was stopping, he was worried about how he would continue his studies.
Vanessa was homeless and numbed her feelings of guilt and shame with drugs and alcohol. When Child Welfare told her she couldn’t live with her son due to her addiction, she decided to reach out for help.