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 one has their finger on the pulse of community like human service agencies and their staff. They operate on the front lines of society with a deep and immediate understanding of the community’s needs. Every day, staff for these agencies work tirelessly to improve social conditions for vulnerable people in our community.

They do their work quietly, out of the limelight, and often for less pay then private sector jobs. They do it because they care, because they believe they can improve society, and because they possess the talent, creativity and  enthusiasm to make change.

It’s important to recognize these efforts. It’s important to say “thank you” and show how we value the dedication and care it takes to do this work.

Yesterday, United Way of Calgary and Area was proud to partner with the Bhayana Family Foundation Awards to recognize extraordinary contributions made by front-line staff in the human services sector. This was the first year for the awards (the list of winners is here).

In total, 22 applicants were nominated by their co-workers. The winners were given an award and cheque by United Way, donor Raksha Bhayana and Mayor Naheed Nenshi.

The Bhayana Family Foundation Awards were made possible by a generous donation from Bhayana and the Bhayana Family Foundation. As a former member of United Way Toronto’s Board of Trustees, Raksha is a dedicated community volunteer and a passionate champion for the recognition of front-line workers who make a difference in the community every day. It is wonderful to partner with someone who is so supportive and appreciative of front-line staff!

For Calgary to be a truly great city for everyone, we need the passion, skill, and commitment of talented individuals such as those nominated this year. United Way is proud of the nominees and winners and their willingness to make change happen.

—Talia Bell is Manager of Evaluation and Operations in United Way’s Community Investments and Collaborations department.