Never Too Late Graduation Ceremony

The Never Too Late programs sees its latest crop of grads.

Spirits of Gold: Dare to Share the Love

Join us as we unveil and celebrate the 2015 Campaign Achievement, which would not be possible without workplaces, agencies, volunteers and supporters like you!

On being thankful yet facing the unforgiving truths

Have you seen the latest from Lucy Miller, President and CEO of United Way of Calgary and Area?

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From the Archives

  • “Not Your Father’s Lager” at Last Best Brewery

    It’s not often you can use the excuse of do-gooding when you go out for an evening of delicious food and a cold beverage or two, but with Last Best Brewery’s community brew, “Not Your Father’s Lager” you can do […]

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  • 5 reasons you should apply for the Urban Exposure Project

    Are you an amateur photographer who wants to learn more about your city? Do you have big dreams about seeing your work exhibited? Do you care about social issues facing Calgarians? If you answered yes to any or all of […]

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  • Meet the next generation of leaders in Calgary

    Anna Murray and Michael Jolie are the first-ever recipients of The Culbert Family Award for Philanthropy.
    Congratulations to Anna Murray and Michael Jolie – the first-ever recipients of the $2000 Culbert Family Award for Philanthropy!  The award was created by Mike, […]

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  • It’s our right to play

    Fourth-year University of Calgary nursing students (L to R), Anita Do, Alexa Aramouni and Noelle Mahon try out The Brain Game on National Child Day 2014.
    National Child Day is celebrated annually on November 20 to recognize Canada’s commitment to the […]

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  • Poverty in Calgary – Can you make the month?

    Can you make the month in Calgary? 1 in 10 Calgarians struggle to do just that. And poverty has far reaching consequences for Calgary.
    Experience the challenges of living on a limited budget with the newly launched makethemonth.ca. Make the Month […]

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  • 5 things you didn’t know about National Philanthropy Day®

    November 15th marks the annual National Philanthropy Day.®
    November 15th marks National Philanthropy Day®. Every year on this day, hundreds of communities across North America honour local donors and volunteers for their giving and charitable engagement. This year, I am honoured […]

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  • The top 5 things I know about vulnerable youth

    Jill Wyatt at the Pushing the Limits III conference in Calgary on October 30, 2014.
    What’s changing? Working together to connect natural supports to vulnerable youth. This was the topic of the third installment of a conference series led by United […]

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  • Do Gooders In Action: How Everyone Can Do Good for Calgary!

    Do Good Ambassador Lourdes Juan is starting her first United Way campaign.
    For United Way’s 2014 “Do Good” campaign, we engaged 15 community-building Calgarians that believe in order for Calgary to be great city for all, we all play a role! […]

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  • A Chance Encounter + A Talented Immigrant = A Better Calgary for All

    YMCA employees and supporters march in United Way 2014 “Do Good” Campaign Kickoff.
    Ken Lima-Coelho is the Vice-President of Communications and Financial Development for YMCA Calgary. He attended United Way of Calgary and Area’s annual campaign kickoff on September 4, 2014. […]

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  • 5 reasons you should apply for The Culbert Family Award for Philanthropy (a.k.a. The Do-Good Award!)

     
    Members of The Next (a group of Calgary professionals improving their leadership development through speaker training and hands-on field work with United Way partners and agencies) volunteering at Meals on Wheels.

    A $2000 Award! Two next generation philanthropists in Calgary between […]

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  • Chrystell – Her story

    Saturday, October 11th is the third International Day of the Girl. It’s a global initiative to promote girls’ rights, highlight gender inequality between girls and boys and shine a light on the different forms of discrimination and abuse suffered by […]

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  • Raising $500 in 2 days – An 8-year-old did it, can you?

    New Calgary youth skip rope to make change.
    What happens when an 8-year-old boy shows up at your doorstep and invites you to listen to something he really cares about? The next thing you know, he tells you that he is […]

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  • Do Good Ambassador in the spotlight – Gilmore Junio

    Meet Gilmore Junio, one of United Way’s 2014 “Do Good” ambassadors.
    “I love this city,” Gilmore Junio starts. “Coming home from the road when I fly over the city, I feel anxious to get back. There’s such a positive energy here; […]

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  • All in for Youth wins big at the Shaw Charity Classic

    Christine Eway and Chantel Large, United Way’s All in for Youth Ambassadors on the golf course.
    Calgary youth were once again winners at this year’s Shaw Charity Classic. The second annual PGA TOUR Champions Tour event will benefit eight youth-focused charities […]

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  • Lux Laundromat: Thriving Business, Art Gallery & Community Hub

    Gerrit Rysdyk inside the laundromat he transformed into an art gallery and community hub.
    Gerrit Rysdyk was cleaning the windows of Lux Laundromat when I approached him. The clean windows, freshly painted wall, beautiful hanging artwork and his wide smile are […]

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  • Mental health for all

    Mental illness is one of the most widespread health issues in the country. 1 in 5 Canadians will experience a form of mental illness at some point in their life – CMHA.
    Here are 12 simple ways to practice mental fitness from […]

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  • Take 67 minutes to change the world

    Nelson Mandela once said: “It is in your hands to create a better world for all who live in it.” To celebrate his life and legacy, the United Nations named July 18 Nelson Mandela International Day, encouraging people from around […]

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  • 10 tips for surviving and thriving at Stampede!

    Two dynamic Calgary leaders, United Way CEO Lucy Miller and Karen Young, have joined forces just in time for Stampede! Young is United Way’s new Chief Operating Officer, moving from three decades of leadership at The City of Calgary where […]

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  • Flood Series: Bowness’s Laundry Fairy one year later

    To mark the one year anniversary of the worst flooding in Southern Alberta’s history, we’re sharing a series of stories on the work that immediately followed. We saw community superheroes emerge, working together to ensure all citizens were safe, cared […]

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  • Flood Series: After the flood, heroes emerged [Infographic]

    To mark the one year anniversary of the worst flooding in Southern Alberta’s history, we’re sharing a series of stories on the work that immediately followed. We saw community superheroes emerge, working together to ensure all citizens were safe, cared […]

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  • Flood Series: Local heroes ensured kids were safe, didn’t go hungry

    Photo: Urban Exposure Project participant Sally Berges
    To mark the one year anniversary of the worst flooding in Southern Alberta’s history, we’re sharing a series of stories on the work that immediately followed. We saw community superheroes emerge, working together to […]

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  • 5 ways to celebrate Aboriginal Awareness Week

    This year’s Aboriginal Awareness Week Calgary (AAWC) kicks off June 15 and runs through to National Aboriginal Day on June 21. AAWC’s theme this year is “Keeping the Circle Strong,” honouring the past, present and future of all communities.
    Below are […]

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  • Flood Series: How you helped vulnerable women after the flood

    Photo: Urban Exposure Project participant Ariana Alcaraz
    To mark the one year anniversary of the worst flooding in Southern Alberta’s history, we’re sharing a series of stories on the work that immediately followed. We saw community superheroes emerge, working together to […]

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  • Capturing a city of surprises

    The Urban Exposure Project, led by United Way’s Gen Next initiative, takes amateur photographers on a journey to get to know our city better. Participants meet with community planners, agency staff and tour local agencies to learn about social issues. […]

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  • Have you ever seen a 94 year old woman bowl?

    June 1 is Intergenerational Day, which recognizes and celebrates the different generations and the value they bring to each other and our community at large. And it’s these connections between generations that made it possible for a 94 year old […]

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  • 7 reasons to consider creating a legacy

    Leaving your mark in Calgary is a very personal decision. May marks Legacy Giving month, dedicated to education around the importance of thinking to the future – and thinking about the gift you could leave to a charity that means […]

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  • Vigil to honour slain women, discuss male aggression

    “My daddy has killed my mummy and my auntie.”
    No child should ever have reason to say these words. Yet this happened in our city earlier this month. Two women, Sanjula Devi and Fahmida Velji-Visram, were stabbed to death.
    This Thursday evening, concerned Calgarians […]

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  • 5 ways to help kids graduate: Lucy’s blog

    Last week, the Alberta government announced school completion rates are on the rise province-wide. It’s great news – and now we have an opportunity to build on this success.
    In Calgary, we’re ahead of the curve. School completion rates here are […]

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  • 7 ways to show mom you care

    Our mothers have a profound impact on us throughout our lives. They offer support, guidance and comfort in any situation.
    With Mother’s Day this Sunday, we wanted to share just a few ways to show mom you care.

    Take a new family […]

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  • Are you fine or phine?

    This week marks the 63rd annual Mental Health Week, raising awareness about mental health issues across the country. Approximately 7 million Canadians live with mental illness – that’s 20% of the population!
    For this year’s Mental Health Week, the Canadian Mental […]

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  • Early Brain Development: How it works and why it’s important

    People are born with virtually all the brain cells they are ever going to have. According to noted early brain development researcher Dr. Judy Cameron, that’s incredibly important in understanding brain development.
    Dr. Cameron is in town for United Way’s UpStart […]

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  • Local volunteers recognized nationally

    Last week, Volunteer Canada opened the phone lines for all Canadians to say thank you to the volunteers in their lives. Thank you to all the volunteers who work every day both in our city and across the country to […]

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  • Volunteer gives plane pull wings in Calgary

    Whilna, shown at left, poses with the Plane Pull planning team.
    When Whilna took over as the United Way campaign coordinator at UPS Canada, they had been a United Way partner for over 30 years. Employee participation was strong, and under […]

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  • Recognize a volunteer in this personal way!

    Do you know a volunteer who deserves recognition?
    Here’s just one of the ways to give them kudos for being a community builder this National Volunteer Week.
    This week you can call a national hotline (1-855-372-5077) and leave a message thanking the volunteer […]

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  • Workshop makes difficult subject easier to understand

    No one likes to talk about the elephant in the room:  that uncomfortable feeling of knowing something difficult needs to be addressed but feeling unsure of how to talk about it or what to do.  In some cases though, that […]

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  • Kids use spring break to do good

    It’s spring break this week which means most kids are out of school and spending their time playing video games or hanging with friends. But one special kid, with the help of his big sister, decided instead to host a […]

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  • Celebrating International Women’s Day

    As Amelia Earhart once said, “Women must try to do things as men have tried. When they fail, their failure must be but a challenge to others.”
    Every day, women around the world are challenging the status quo, standing up for […]

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  • Connecting immigrants to success

    Dejan Ciric and his family arrived in Calgary in January 2013. They travelled over 8,000 km from their home in Belgrade, Serbia to build a new life for themselves and their three young children.
    The Cirics were looking for a safe […]

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  • Bullying and mental health: The ties that bind

    Bullying has had huge pickup in the media recently. It’s been a growing concern for years, but a new study published in the journal Pediatrics, and highlighted in the Boston Globe, shows the long-term impact bullying can have on the […]

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  • How to turn boys into WiseGuyz

     
    On Friday, I had the privilege of attending the Calgary Sexual Health Centre‘s WiseGuyz report to community.
    WiseGuyz is a program focusing on education, open conversations, masculinity and health of junior high boys. The report to community highlighted the success of the […]

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  • Speaking up for career opportunities for youth

    Remember high school? The world was full of possibilities, goals and different paths for the choosing. You could become a doctor, plumber, inspirational speaker or start your own company.
    Today, quite a few high school students aren’t sure where their future […]

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  • Imagining solutions leads to breakthrough ideas

    For years, we had tried to understand high turnover rates at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Calgary (BGCC). We have tried many new models to get better results, but to no avail. Using the Collaborative Social Innovation (CSI) framework […]

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  • 10 ways to show your community some love

    With both Valentine’s Day and Family Day coming up, here are a few ways you can give back and show your community some love.

    Volunteer to get groceries or run an errand for a senior in your neighbourhood.
    Share your talent by […]

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  • 3 policy reforms to improve access to ID

    Based on research, as well as United Way’s work with the community on ID issues over the past few years, we have identified several key remaining barriers to accessing ID that can be addressed through further consideration of the following […]

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  • Honest dialogue fuels collaborative social innovation

    When I was asked to be part of the Leading Boldly Network’s Collaborative Social Innovation project, I was thrilled to have an opportunity to focus on some of the larger issues that seemed to be getting in the way of […]

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  • Capturing ‘contagious passion’

    I took this picture during a walking tour in downtown Calgary. I absolutely loved seeing such a bold and colorful sign in the midst of out downtown core. I knew there had to be a back story and I learned […]

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  • How rocker Robb Nash is helping kids find the strength within

    Being hit and killed in a head-on collision with a semi-truck wasn’t the turning point for rocker Robb Nash.
    “I didn’t wake up and want to change the world,” he says. “What doesn’t kill you doesn’t make you stronger automatically, it […]

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  • Your guide to Chinese New Year

    Check out this amazing infographic with all kinds of great information about Chinese New Year! Happy Lunar New Year everyone!
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  • Need to talk? 3 ways to connect to help

    Since today is Bell Let’s Talk day, we wanted to highlight a few of the ways Calgarians can get the help they’re looking for over the phone.  Distress Centre Calgary offers a number of lines to provide an attentive ear […]

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  • Bell Let’s Talk – Raise your voice

    Every day in Canada, 500,000 people miss work due to mental illness.
    Tomorrow, January 28, marks the fourth annual Bell Let’s Talk campaign. The mental health campaign is aimed at anti-stigma, care and access, research and workplace health.
    In 2013, over 96 […]

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  • 7 effects of living without ID

    Formal government photo identification is essential for gaining access to a range of services, supports and opportunities. ID is often necessary for individuals and families to access health care, rent an apartment, open a bank account and secure formal employment. […]

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  • To Accomplish the Improbable, Strive for the Impossible

    Collaboration between organizations doesn’t necessarily result in innovation.
    Innovation requires focus, and collaborations are rife with distractions. Core operations usually get in the way and take precedence over the collaborative task. And since everyone is running lean to begin with, an […]

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  • Mentoring program turns lives around

    January is National Mentoring Month in the US, but why shouldn’t we celebrate a month of mentoring here in Canada too!
    This week, Global Calgary is looking at the Calgary Police Service’s Youth at Risk Development (YARD) Program. The program pairs […]

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  • Money vs. Education? New report shows money comes out ahead

    A new Statistics Canada report is showing what many Albertans and social agencies already knew: as Alberta’s oil and gas wages increased, many of our province’s young men stopped attending secondary and post-secondary school.
    This article from today’s Calgary Herald looks at […]

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  • Series provides expertise to non-profits

    KPMG has a strong international reputation in the accounting and auditing world, but for Zubin Cooper, Partner at KPMG Enterprise in Calgary, being a community leader is about more than being a leading service provider. It’s also about using your […]

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  • Let’s turn a corner – together

    I must confess. I love change. I leap and somehow the net appears. I thrive on spontaneity and trying new things. My best pals are dreamers and inventors. There’s a time and place for people like me.

    This year is different […]

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  • How one man is helping his community

    Last week, I sat down with Bob Lubkiwski, who was loaned to United Way by ATCO Gas to work as a Campaign Associate.
    Not only has this been a great work experience, he says it has opened his eyes.
    “I’m more educated […]

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  • ‘The call that changed my life’

    Facing depression and anxiety, Ashley Rosales called the Distress Centre for help. If it hadn’t been for this support, she says her life would be very different.
    “It was probably one of the most important calls of my life,” she says.
    Years […]

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  • 5 lessons on Collaborative Social Innovation

    Collaborative social innovation means working with a group of open-minded individuals invested in exploring and creating social change through a not-so-new-but-new-to-non-profit process that encourages abstract, yet grounded, idealistic, yet realistic, and creative, yet linear thinking.
    The Canadian Mental Health Association’s journey […]

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  • ‘I felt guilty to ask for help’

    Families in crisis often feel like they have no one to turn to for help. Programs like the United Way-funded crisis nursery at the Children’s Cottage ensure kids get the care they need while parents are transitioning or getting back […]

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  • Barb Higgins: My fundamental reason for giving

    Guest blogger Barb Higgins poses with her mother, Joan.
    ‘Tis the season to give. So why do we do it? Why do we give? And why do we choose one charity, such as United Way, over another?
    I give for many […]

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  • Taking workplace philanthropy to the next level

    What makes a company a leader in philanthropy?
    In Calgary, WorleyParsons is showing how it’s done. The company has supported United Way of Calgary and Area for more than 30 years – and still wanted to take it to the next […]

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  • Lucy’s Blog: The Season of Giving

    There is lots of asking going on in December and lots of giving. It’s easy to get caught up in the frenzy of it all. It can be overwhelming. It can be stressful. As we go into December, I wanted […]

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  • Putting kids on the path to a bright future

    Adam was four years old when he and his four siblings last lived with their parents. His parents struggled with mental illness, drug abuse and alcohol addiction. After realizing the situation, his grandparents stepped in to care for him and […]

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  • A day of fun to bring a community together

    Lisa Taggart was one of the lucky ones in High River. Though her home wasn’t damaged, her life certainly changed.

    “Living in High River, everyone is impacted,” Taggart says. “But the businesses are starting to open up. The temporary schools are […]

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  • The pivotal role of Calgary’s social change leaders

    On December 3, United Way’s President Lucy Miller was named one of Canada’s Top 100 Most Powerful Women by the Women’s Executive Network. As a four-time winner and past Campaign Co-Chair, we asked Leslie O’Donoghue to talk about the importance of […]

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  • The right support at the right time

    After being diagnosed with schizoid personality disorder, John* finally understood why he was having trouble getting and keeping a job. Though the diagnosis was hard, he took affirmative action and began seeing a psychiatrist to help him understand and deal […]

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  • Scholarship inspires and helps parenting teens

    Before having her daughter, Natalie Sedlacek never thought she would finish high school. She certainly never imagined she would receive a scholarship for post-secondary studies. But, as one of the first winners of the WLC Inspiring Futures scholarship, Natalie now […]

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  • ‘A strong community starts with people knowing they’re safe’

    November is Family Violence Prevention Month in Alberta. We don’t talk about it enough, but family violence remains an urgent issue in our community.
    Alberta has the second highest rate of domestic violence in the country. An estimated 200,000 adults in […]

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  • ‘Twas the Night to remember

    The CORE’s annual ’Twas the Night event is November 27. As one of the recipient charities, United Way’s BeCause initiative will be at the event with a photo booth and some of our amazing volunteers. We thought we’d catch up […]

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  • United Way Day at WINS

    The Women In Need Society (WINS) is a Calgary based charity with a vision that women have the resources, knowledge, skills and confidence to achieve self-sufficiency. WINS operates several programs, including the Free Goods Referral Program, Family Resource Centers and […]

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  • Women united to support Calgary’s girls

    Donations of gift cards and transit passes can help support individuals and families meet their basic needs and help them get ahead. At this year’s Women’s Leadership Council (WLC) Luncheon, over $5,000 in transit passes and gift cards was donated […]

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  • 7 things you didn’t know about Calgary AfterSchool

    Today is National Child Day, but this year November 20 also marks the release of the four-year evaluation report from Calgary AfterSchool. This initiative provides programming for children and youth between the critical hours of 3 and 6 pm, giving […]

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  • Shell Canada: Providing warmth and hope to flood victims

    This year, Shell Canada broke records by donating over $3.6M to United Way of Calgary and Area through their annual workplace campaign. As a way to provide employees with hands-on experiences, Shell also runs campaign engagement activities, such as volunteer […]

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  • Advocacy makes a world of difference for youth

    Having strong support at home can make all the difference for youth as they work to complete high school, especially for Aboriginal students. For Aaron Giroux, an Aboriginal student and recent high school graduate, having his mother advocate for him […]

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  • Here’s how the role of dads is changing—for the better!

    This week, one of North America’s leading experts on the role of fathers is coming to Calgary.
    Dr. Kyle Pruett argues that fathers are essential caregivers for children, playing an important role that benefits their kids from early childhood onward.
    “Society perpetuates this equation in stone […]

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  • Changing the ways we work with vulnerable youth

    I have the privilege of working with three extraordinary teams that are part of United Way’s Vulnerable Youth Investment Strategy. These teams work with four agencies (Boys and Girls Clubs, Big Brothers Big Sisters, the Alex and the Calgary Sexual […]

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  • Inspiring Futures for our city’s girls

    Monika Sousa-Day became a parent at just 17 when she gave birth to her son. As a talented and passionate baker, she had big dreams of opening her own bakery, but wasn’t sure how she would get there.
    “Having a son […]

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  • Here’s one way Calgary leaders are tackling social issues

    When Calgarians start new conversations, they can find ways to make Calgary even better.
    That’s the premise of We Should Know Each Other, a popular meeting of strangers hosted by local theatre artist Mark Hopkins. The purpose of the meetings is […]

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  • Ideas to improve kids’ early years in Calgary

    Today, the lobby of the Kahanoff Centre in downtown Calgary is abuzz with people sharing ideas about children and the importance of early years.
    Calgary Reads has been asking people how they think kids in Calgary are doing. They’ve been getting some interesting […]

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  • Feeling unbalanced? Here are three ways forward

    Do you know where to turn when you’re overwhelmed and struggling to hold your life together?
    If you answered “no,” you’re not alone. According to Statistics Canada, a third of Canadians who needed mental health care last year felt they did […]

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  • High River residents get a little summer fun

    The Fresh Start Recovery Centre’s gymnasium was bustling with volunteers last Thursday. As the sun beat down outside, it was easy to forget that a flood ravaged the streets of Calgary and devastated the towns surrounding it.
    But no one has […]

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  • One good side effect of the flood: Lucy’s blog

    A few days ago, I was walking around in Calgary and met a little girl named Emily who was selling her artwork at a small table in front of her house. She was about four years old, and for $0.25 […]

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  • The social network: How Bowness stayed strong after the flood

    The Calgary neighbourhood of Bowness was devastated by recent flooding. Rather than let their spirit be washed away, Bownesians showed why they feel such a strong connection to their community.
    The response started when the Bow River began to overflow. As […]

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  • The story behind Bowness’s “laundry fairy”

    When a community like ours comes together, amazing feats are accomplished: homes are drained and gutted in a few days, volunteers revitalize an area as big as the Stampede grounds in barely a week and this large city can feel […]

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  • Overwhelming flood response in Bowness

    The recent floods in southern Alberta had a devastating effect on the neighbourhood of Bowness. While other areas of the city took some time to create an organized action plan, Bowness organizers were quick to connect, plan and take action.
    United […]

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  • The magical flow of YYCHelps

    I watched the water rise, but to tell you the truth I have not been brave enough to see it recede and unveil the muck at the bottom. So I help where I can, behind the scenes, offering up food, […]

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  • After the flood, Calgary’s spirit shines: Lucy’s blog

    My heart goes out to Calgarians coping with the devastation of the flood. For those whose homes have been damaged, the road ahead is a challenging one.
    At the same time, we are witnessing an incredible consolation. Calgarians have responded to […]

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  • This Friday, take action in your community

    This Friday marks the fifth annual United Way Day of Action. It’s an annual event on June 21 of each year where United Ways throughout the world harness their power to positively change communities.
    In Calgary, Aboriginal Awareness Week (June 17 – […]

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  • Building a better city, one dress at a time

    My very first impression on my very first day at Vista Projects was that, as a woman coming into an engineering company, I was a minority. I didn’t have an engineering background, so I knew I had a lot to […]

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  • Jermaine’s Journey: How “All In” for Youth changed my life

    Jermaine Villaflores is a successful 2013 high school graduate thanks to the newly launched “All In” for Youth initiative. This new, targeted initiative is aimed at cutting drop out rates in Calgary by 50% over the next five years. Jermaine […]

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  • The stage is set…

    Did you know approximately 25% of Calgary youth don’t finish high school on time?
    The problem is big. It needs a big solution — a city-wide movement of everyone working together to ensure youth succeed in school. This movement is already […]

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  • Seniors make our communities stronger

    This is Seniors’ Week in Alberta. Seniors living independently can face a variety of problems. Often it’s the little things, like taking out the garbage or driving to medical appointments, that make living alone so difficult.
    Rose, an independent senior, was […]

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  • One way to build a better city—use a camera

    “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” —Margaret Mead
    My name is Brian Mitchell and I want to be a world changer. I believe that everyone […]

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  • Being connected is good, but…

    I had an “a-ha” moment this week after city council approved Calgary’s new Poverty Reduction Strategy.
    I have been in Hamilton, Ont., for the United Way Centraide National Conference. The opening speaker, Dr. Thomas Homer-Dixon, shared insight that made me see […]

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  • 15 easy ways to celebrate Intergenerational Day

    Last year, Mayor Naheed Nenshi welcomed Calgarians to Intergenerational Day, a national event that takes place June 1 and celebrates different generations and what they can offer their community, but more importantly, each other.
    The idea of intergenerational relationships was established […]

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  • Here’s how we can reduce poverty in Calgary

    Hopeful. Safe. Resilient. Compassionate. Inclusive. Fair.
    These are just a few of the words that people used to describe a Calgary without poverty. Today, city council approved the plan that we believe provides the roadmap to that city. That roadmap represents thousands of […]

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  • How low grad rates affect all of us: Lucy’s blog

    Every year, 3,000 youth in our city don’t finish high school on time. When I share that statistic with people in our community, they often can’t believe it. I see why.
    We live in a prosperous city and province with one of […]

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  • Change is a community undertaking!

    Earlier this week, blogger and writer Louise Gallagher spent some time with participants of the Urban Exposure Project. The project, run by United Way’s BeCause initiative, brings together amateur photographers interested in learning about social issues. Here’s what Gallagher had to say […]

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  • Creating social change through documentary film

    Tonight in Calgary, the Marda Loop Justice Film Festival is screening Bitter Seeds, a documentary film that highlights the plight of Indian farmers who are pressured to buy genetically modified cotton seeds each year. This creates a vicious circle of debt, dependence […]

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  • Remorseful robber Rocky Huff on mental illness: “There’s help” [VIDEO]

    Rocky Huff finally has closure.
    Two years ago Huff robbed a Calgary Scotiabank during a long battle with depression. He is currently serving jail time on weekends, and has been sharing his story as a way to help others suffering from mental illness.
    This […]

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  • Mental health week – Chief Rick Hanson speaks out

    With the hustle and bustle of everyday life, we sometimes forget the little things that keep us healthy from the inside out.
    This week is Mental Health Week and the Canadian Mental Health Association says that although physical health is important, […]

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  • New project will ensure Calgary kids can thrive

    In a first for Calgary, United Way of Calgary and Area is starting to track child well-being in Calgary.
    “For the first time, we’ll have a comprehensive snapshot of how kids are faring in our city,” said Lucy Miller, United Way’s president and CEO. Lucy […]

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  • Here’s an urban race that makes a difference

    The sun is out, birds are chirping… that can only mean two things. Spring has sprung and Why?Race is just around the corner. This Saturday, May 11, BeCause will host its 3rd annual Why?Race!

    What is Why?Race? It is part orienteering, […]

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  • Steve Earle on being ‘invisible’

    Last week the Calgary Folk Music Festival announced its 2013 lineup, and folk troubador Steve Earle is among the headliners who will be playing at Prince’s Island Park this July.
    Earle is known for writing and singing about social issues. Fans of HBO’s […]

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  • These people make our communities stronger

    “Front-line staff of the human services sector are especially invaluable to strong communities in our city… you are some of the hardest working and most inspirational people our great city has to offer.”
    —Mayor Naheed Nenshi, speaking at the Bhayana Awards
    No […]

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  • Dear United Way volunteers: THANK YOU!

    This week, National Volunteer Week, United Way of Calgary and Area wants to say a big THANK YOU to our amazing volunteers! Last year more than 55,000 Calgarians donated time, energy, passion and financial resources to support United Way. Put another way, think of the […]

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  • What Calgary’s police chief wants you to know

    Rick Hanson, Calgary’s Chief of Police and United Way’s 2013 Campaign Co-Chair, has an important message to share.
    This is it, in a nutshell: pay attention. He shared this message earlier this week at United Way’s AGM. He wasn’t talking about just paying attention […]

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  • This is what youth need to succeed: Lucy’s blog

    This was published in the Calgary Herald as a letter to the editor on April 15, 2013:
    A new report released by Alberta’s child and youth advocate this month illustrates why it’s important for all of us to share responsibility for […]

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  • Here’s one solution to rape culture

    How do we, as a society, prevent tragic situations like the one that led Halifax teenager Rehtaeh Parsons to take her own life?
    How do we ensure boys have a healthy, respectful view of sexuality?
    Many Canadians are asking these questions this week, and […]

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  • Don’t suffer in silence — help for depression

    Depression has been in the news a lot lately. Last week, the Calgary Counselling Centre announced that it is expanding its services to contend with the problem.
    “Depression is growing,” CEO Dr. Robbie Babins-Wagner told the Calgary Herald. “The real challenge […]

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  • 7 stories on local social issues: weekly roundup

    Here’s our regular news roundup about social issues in the Calgary area:

    Counselling centre expands treatment programs for growing problem of depression – Calgary Herald
    Clinic for pregnant women in poverty expands – CBC News
    Alberta jobs take big hit, but experts remain optimistic – Global News
    Calgary […]

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  • Tips for easy tax savings: Lucy’s blog

    Could you be missing out on unknown savings?
    It happens a lot. Every year, Canadians miss out on billions of dollars in tax credits and government benefits because they don’t file their taxes, or don’t understand what they are eligible for. […]

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  • Remembering Ralph Klein

    Our thoughts are with Premier Klein’s family during this difficult time.
    At United Way, we are grateful for the years he spent working for us in the 1960s, managing our public relations. Even in his 20s, he was dedicated to making […]

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  • 9 easy steps to follow for fundraising campaigns

    Creating a successful fundraising campaign can be challenging. A lot of work goes into planning and volunteer recruitment.
    These Calgary companies are leading examples of how to master successful workplace campaigns. Take a look at what these companies did for their […]

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  • Weekly news roundup: mental health and more

    Happy Friday! Here’s our weekly roundup of media stories about social issues in Calgary:
    New housing for working poor
    The Drop-In Centre is hoping to get its northeast low-income housing project off the ground, and held a meeting last week to outline […]

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  • This gives me hope for my family

    How can we win on social issues in Calgary?
    To start, we need an understanding of what exactly these problems are, and how they’re changing.
    Community planners have this insight. They are in close contact with social service agencies throughout Calgary, and can […]

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  • Get rid of homelessness once and for all

    “We have shelters here for working poor. People who are working every day. And if those folks can’t live near where the jobs are, if business can’t get people to work, then Calgary doesn’t succeed.”
    – Rollin Stanley, General Manager of […]

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  • How our city has changed me: Lucy’s blog

    How many of you wake up every morning with a big smile on your face and an immeasurable feeling of hope in your heart?
    This has been my experience during my first year at United Way of Calgary and Area; and […]

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  • The way we think about charity is dead wrong

    Next month, Dan Pallotta is coming to Calgary. You’ve probably heard Pallotta’s name somewhere this past week — his provocative new TED Talk, “The way we think about charity is dead wrong,” is getting a lot of attention. Pallotta recently spoke with […]

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  • News roundup: Why Alberta “kicks butt”

    Here’s a roundup of recent media stories on social issues affecting Calgary:
    Ahead of the game in Alberta
    Calgary Herald columnist Karin Klassen singles out Alberta’s 10 Year Plan to End Homelessness for praise. When it comes to keeping people off the […]

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  • Here’s one way to make the world safer for women

    Today is International Women’s Day. In the U.S., one group is using the occasion to launch a campiagn called Ring the Bell: One million men. One million promises. The campaign calls on “men and boys around the world to promise […]

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  • What’s taking root on the edge of Calgary?

    A year into its life, the Genesis Centre of Community Wellness still gleams like new.
    The sprawling community centre — which includes a library, a YMCA and a human services area called 1,000 Voices — opened on the city’s northern edge […]

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  • Who else wants a fun, engaged workplace?

    Chris Woychyshyn, from WorleyParsons Canada, won the People Power award at United Way’s annual Spirits of Gold event on February 14. This award recognizes a campaign volunteer who has exceeded expectations and created a greater awareness of United Way in […]

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  • A hotel like you’ve never seen before

    “Here’s A Hotel Website Like You’ve Never Seen Before; It Offers the Homeless Experience”
    I saw this headline on cbc.ca/strombo and nearly dove out of my chair toward my monitor. It was the headline, “like never before,” that grabbed my attention […]

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  • Bullying: The plague of our generation?

    I remember one day in elementary school. It was warm out and I was playing with my friends on the baseball diamond after school. I don’t know how or what transpired because that’s not the part that stuck in my […]

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  • The cost of leaving family violence behind

    What’s the biggest challenge faced by Calgarians trying to leave abusive relationships?
    Finding affordable housing, according to Lisa Falkowsky, Executive Director of the Calgary Women’s Emergency Shelter. The shelter’s 50 beds are always in use, and the shelter has revealed that it couldn’t offer a […]

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  • An anti-bullying poem to change your life

    If you think back far enough, you can likely remember being taunted, mocked and bullied at some point in life. Some of us are fortunate to have this experience as a distant memory, a dull ache buried in the past. For others it’s a current […]

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  • A creative way to wrestle wicked problems

    You might not know it, but you are a designer. We all are. We create things with intention, utility, sometimes in collaboration with others, and shape the world around us through what we produce. Nobel laureate Herbert Simon said:
    “A designer […]

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  • Celebrating a golden year

    This Thursday, Dave Kelly will host hundreds of United Way of Calgary and Area supporters who are gathering to celebrate the best in workplace philanthropy. United Way’s annual Spirits of Gold awards honour those who, through their workplace campaigns, contributed to an […]

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  • On child poverty, Albertans get it: Lucy’s blog

    To what extent might child poverty hamper our collective future?
    This question is on my mind because earlier this month, the Conference Board of Canada put out a report card that gave Canada a very poor ranking on child poverty. With […]

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  • Making a difference through photography

    There’s still time to get your application in for BeCause’s annual Urban Exposure Project! That’s right — we’re extending the deadline to Monday, February 11. Here, past participant James Koslowski reflects on his experience with the Urban Exposure Project.
    I’ve always […]

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  • The real cost of cutting Employment Insurance

    This morning I had the privilege of presenting to a Canadian Senate committee regarding Bill C-316 (An Act to Amend the Employment Insurance Act – Incarceration). The private member’s bill would claw back Employment Insurance (EI) from incarcerated people after they are […]

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  • A gala to remember

    I’m a big fan of gala events – especially when they have a theme or are held in a funky and hip location. But I’m mostly a big fan of gala events when they are tied to an original cause; […]

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  • How poverty changes a child’s brain

    On Friday, the Globe and Mail published an interesting article about how poverty affects a child’s brain development:
    …A developing brain that has been influenced by a stressful or chaotic social environment at an early age may lead to a child with serious […]

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  • United Way exceeds campaign goal — THANK YOU CALGARY!

    Thanks to an incredible flourish of community generosity, United Way has pushed past its 2012 campaign goal, a clear sign Calgarians are committed to long-term social change.
    United Way raised a record $55.2 million, exceeding its goal of $54 million thanks […]

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  • Calgary’s window of opportunity: Lucy’s blog

    Every society has windows of opportunity where it becomes possible to accelerate change.
    These are windows when all the stars seem to align for innovation to occur. Sometimes the opportunity comes about in response to negative circumstances, such as when so […]

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  • Faces of the Inn

    This week, Inn From the Cold — an agency which offers shelter to vulnerable Calgarians 365 days a year — kicked off a six-part series called Faces of the Inn.
    In the first video, Gary, the Inn’s longest-serving employee, talks about how […]

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  • Three challenges for Calgary in 2013

    In a year-end interview with the Calgary Herald, Calgary police chief Rick Hanson identified several social challenges facing Calgary as we head into 2013:
    1. Help people living on the streets.
    “We want to do a better job getting homeless folks that are […]

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  • How Can a Warm Man Understand a Cold Man?

    We have all heard “he is poor.” We know that it means he is not wealthy. But poverty is more than that.  Take a look at this TVO film, How Can a Warm Man Understand a Cold Man. It’s the story […]

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  • Home for Christmas

    It’s wonderful walking in shopping malls and downtown streets these days. People are joyful at Christmas time. Everybody is shopping for their loved ones and many people have nice Christmasy gift bags in their hands. Above all, Christmas makes a […]

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  • Lost without ID

    I am about to leave the United Way as my contract as ID Project Coordinator comes to a close. For three and a half years I have been helping agencies provide ID documents to people in our community who need […]

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  • Boy on a mission to help hungry children

    Tyler Weninger is, by his own account, an ordinary kid from an ordinary family.
    At 11 years old, however, this ordinary Grade 6 student is doing something extraordinary. He’s aiming to raise $5,000 for United Way to feed hungry children in our city.
    United Way focuses on making long-term social change in […]

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  • A ride in the right direction

    UPDATE, December 17, 2012 — We’ve got good news! Today, city council unanimously approved a pilot project that will make youth eligible for Calgary Transit’s low-income monthly pass. United Way of Calgary and Area has been working with city council and […]

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  • Philanthropy in Calgary and around the world

    United Way of Calgary and Area and Brewster Travel Canada had a “Stuff the Bus” collection drive last week, asking Calgarians to bring gently used winter clothing for people in need. Thursday morning a group of kids came to donate […]

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  • Carlos struggles to crack the job market. Why?

    Carlos is an IT professional with an impressive resume that boasts degrees in both IT and business. His work experience includes working with healthcare and oil and gas industry in several countries. So why does Carlos has difficulties finding a […]

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  • Volunteering at United Way, I feel valuable

    Like many other women in the world, I was looking for a better life — one in which I am not discriminated against, a situation where I can plan for my future and follow my dreams. With these ambitions in mind, I […]

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  • A bus pass gave me hope and helped me graduate

    The day a teacher gave Lucas a bus pass, his life started moving in a hopeful direction.
    Lucas had endured a tough Grade 11 year, devastated after learning that a beloved relative had cancer. He turned to drugs as a way […]

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  • 3 stories of hope

    United Way is a lot of things to a lot of people, not just here in Calgary, but around the world. Across Canada, United Ways work to build strong communities that support all the citizens living there, which is what […]

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  • An early learning and care agenda for Alberta

    The United Way’s UpStart initiative has been working with the Muttart Foundation and Success by 6 in Edmonton to facilitate a province-wide discussion on the need for an early learning and care agenda in Alberta.
    Early learning and care focuses on […]

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  • Not afraid of commitment

    For your 21st anniversary you’re supposed to receive gifts of brass or nickel. But Brenda Roy, United Way of Calgary and Area’s longest standing external campaign coordinator (ECC), deserves solid gold.
    For more than two decades, Brenda, a longttime employee of PCL […]

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  • How 211 made a difference for my family

    You never know when tragic events are going to change your life.
    The Sunday before retuning to work from summer holidays, my husband and three children decided to go on a hike in Kananaskis Country. While hiking, we came upon a […]

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  • Three ways to celebrate financial literacy month

    The theme may be made-up but the lessons are real. Personal finance expert Bruce Sellery explains how you can build up your financial knowledge.
    Question
    It’s Financial Literacy Month, but why should I care? What am I supposed to do about it?
    Answer
    Financial […]

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  • It takes a community to heal

    November is Family Violence Prevention Month. Here, guest contributor Louise Gallagher shares her own personal story of hurt and healing.
    Once upon a time I loved a man who was not true. When he was arrested and I was set free, I […]

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  • Personal ID: the catalyst that can change a life

    If you have ever lost your wallet, you don’t need me to tell you how important identification is.
    Without ID, you can’t open a bank account, see a doctor, have a drink after work or buy a pack of cigarettes. If you rely […]

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  • Never Too Late Graduation Ceremony

    For ten adult students graduating from the Never Too Late program, their graduation ceremony was a bit like being a rockstar. Cameras flashed as the students walked down the aisle of the Maranatha Church, and someone from a local news […]

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  • Urban Exposure Project Wrap-Up

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    The lights were low at Paper St, a brand new restaurant on Calgary’s Stephen Avenue. So new in fact, […]

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  • The Culbert Family Award for Philanthropy

     

    The Culbert Family Award for Philanthropy Winners
    National Volunteer Week is April 10-16 and we thought we would showcase some of the hardest working volunteers we know. Michelle Moon and Lourdes Juan are the 2015 recipients of the Culbert Family Award […]

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  • Notes from UEP, Issue 2

    Photo: Heather Nichol
    UEP has been rolling along for more than two months now and the quality of photos this group has taken is remarkable. What’s even more remarkable are the bonds that are forming between the participants. This once a […]

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  • Why Social Work Matters

    Photo Cara Lynn
    Social work is one of the few professions where the primary goal is to significantly improve the well-being of others. Whether by fixing the conditions facing individuals or those facing entire communities, social work’s emphasis is on bettering […]

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