Strong Communities can Change Lives

On the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty, I want to take a minute to reflect on the generous community we have here in the Alberta Capital Region. We have an incredible challenge when it comes to addressing the needs of people living in poverty, but we see time and time again that our community always steps up.

This year’s theme for the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty is acting together to empower children, their families and communities to end poverty. This is the work we do every day at United Way. Today, I am so inspired and hopeful from the good work that is happening across the region to change the lives of people living in poverty.

Poverty is a difficult topic to discuss, and even more complex to understand when you realize how many of life’s challenges can lead people into it – lack of education, job loss, domestic violence, addiction, mental illness, and more.

But Edmonton and the surrounding region is full of innovators, problem solvers and team players. We see people across all sectors, all backgrounds, come together to make this community a great place to live. United Way is proud of the role it plays to bring all these innovators together to come up with creative, impactful solutions to help those in need.

We are also fortunate to live in a region with leaders and government representatives who make addressing poverty a priority. Thanks to the leadership and support through City of Edmonton, we’re able to fund essential and innovative programs that give people the best chance to succeed. Programs like All in for Youth — where five inner-city schools provide wrap-around supports to help kids break the cycle of poverty and graduate high school. By supporting everything from in-school mentorship to mental health and family support, All in for Youth has made a tangible difference in the lives of kids living in poverty and their families.

And then there’s the Financial Pathways Collaborative, which helps individuals and families build lives of stability and independence. Seven financial institutions, together with United Way, e4c and the City of Edmonton, shape a collaborative to help deliver financial literacy training to people living with low income.

In alignment with the City’s efforts, we’re close partners with EndPovertyEdmonton and support their work to change the conversation around poverty. Just today, they released results of their community perception survey that clearly shows Edmontonians believe in the work being done — and that ending poverty is not only the right thing to do, it makes good economic sense.

As we recognize this important day, I want to share how incredibly grateful our community is for all the United Way workplace campaigns that are taking place. Behind all our work, there are organizations and people like you who give generously and get involved in so many ways to change lives and ensure better futures.

It takes a community, and our communities thrive when every single person is taken care of and supported.

Rob Yager 

President & CEO 

United Way Alberta Capital Region 

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