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Home / News / United Way launches campaign to help growing number of people in critical need this winter
November 18, 2022
EDMONTON – 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.
“Inflation has made it more difficult for people to pay for basic necessities like groceries, gas, and housing,” said Rob Yager, President and CEO of United Way of the Alberta Capital Region. “For the growing number of people in our region at risk of falling into poverty, these pressures are exacerbated.”
United Way’s winter fundraising campaign will support our region’s most vulnerable community members by helping fund immediate needs, such as food hampers, winter coats for families, and hygiene kits for houseless individuals. The campaign will also invest in wrap-around supports that help create pathways out of poverty including financial literacy programs and employment training.
“Many Edmontonians are facing incredibly difficult circumstances this year,” said Edmonton Mayor Amarjeet Sohi. “United Way has a long history of doing local good and working with community partners to address poverty, food insecurity, and social isolation. Their far-reaching impact is why City employees have chosen to support United Way’s campaigns for years.”
Through 100 programs, partnerships and initiatives, United Way supported nearly 250,000 people in the metropolitan region last year. More than 4,000 individuals accessed early learning and parenting supports – some through Norwood Child and Family Centre’s Parent Respite Program.
“Families turn to us for safe, short-term care for a wide variety of reasons. They may be socially isolated, struggling with mental health concerns, or experiencing family violence,” said Kathy Burgett, Program Director at Norwood Child and Family Centre. “By getting that break from caregiving, we give them time to catch their breath so they can move forward in a positive way.”
United Way has enhanced the Parent Respite Program by supporting higher wages for early childhood educators, new books for the centre’s growing Free Library and nutritious meals and snacks for children.
“United Way strengthens our work by helping fund meaningful wrap-around support for these families,” said Burgett. “Together, I know we are changing the trajectory of children’s lives in our community. At Norwood, we see it every day.”
Residents can help strengthen our region’s social safety net for those at risk of falling into poverty by supporting United Way’s campaign, which runs until the end of the year.
“Over the last couple of years, our community came together to overcome the critical hardships of the pandemic,” said Yager. “This winter, we can weather the current affordability crisis, along with mental health and social challenges, by coming together and wrapping around those in need with generosity and hope.”
To donate to United Way of the Alberta Capital Region visit, myunitedway.ca/donate.
Director, Marketing & Brand, United Way of the Alberta Capital Region
Alicia and Ace access Norwood Centre’s Parent Respite, a United Way-funded program that provides drop-in childcare and family support workers. Now, Alicia can go to school for nursing while her son gets quality early-childhood education.
After coming to Canada as a Syrian refugee, Moumenah took part in an Empower U course at Islamic Family to better understand finances in Canada. Empower U is a United Way program that provides participants with financial literacy training and a matched savings program.
Nevaeh discovered a love of cooking through the United Way-funded Community Kitchen Program delivered by the Alberta Parenting for the Future Association. But she also found a place where she could thrive, in turn building her confidence and resilience.
United Way of the Alberta Capital Region is funded through grants, corporate gifts, and individual donations. United Way's approach brings together a collaborative network of social agencies, organizations, and governments to deliver local programs and services that make lasting change in the lives of individuals, including:
United Way of the Alberta Capital Region
Support By the Numbers (2021)
244,745 –people supported through a United Way funded program
66,461 – participants who accessed healthy meals or food hampers
20,466 – participants who accessed timely mental health counselling
3,470 – children who participated in after-school programs
1,025 – participants in financial literacy training
806 – at-risk youth who were supported to stay in school