United Way Ottawa is thrilled to announce that, thanks to the outstanding generosity of Schmoozefest 2013 attendees, Ottawa’s most vulnerable children will be receiving 300 weeks worth of healthy, filling lunches!
United Way’s NextGen Cabinet was on hand last weekend at the Oktoberfest Ride in partnership with Beau’s All Natural Brewing Co. to bring these things together and change some lives in the process.
Government and private sector employees started off their season of giving by donating their time to Ottawa’s non-profit organizations through Community Action Days. More than 250 volunteers tackled 19 projects and baked, decorated, shopped or wrapped gifts to help prepare community organizations for the holiday season.
In 2009, with the help of United Way’s Targeted Community Investment team and through strong company leadership, Mead Johnson began targeting their investments in a way that resonated with its employees. The company developed a program that allowed it to provide a substantial gift to support St. Mary’s Home’s Hot Lunch Program.
In 2009 the Trinity Foundation approached the YMCA-YWCA National Capital Region, the Boys and Girls Club of Ottawa, Christie Lake Kids, the City of Ottawa and United Way Ottawa to work together to better the lives of Ottawa’s vulnerable children and youth. Through the unprecedented collaboration, the partners came up with the Social Rec Connect Program, a simple, yet powerful way to connect children and youth with positive, social recreation opportunities, giving them skills and tools to develop into a contributing member of the community.
For over two decades, Options Bytown has provided a permanent home and support services for those people who need help to live independently. We operate three apartment complexes that house approximately 130 tenants. Recently, we replaced 26 windows in one of the residences with the funds received from Hydro Ottawa’s Brighter Tomorrows Fund program. The Brighter Tomorrows Fund is a Hydro Ottawa initiative administered by United Way Ottawa that enables frontline agencies like ours to serve the homeless and those at risk of being homeless to invest in energy-efficient renovations to help reduce their monthly energy bills.
Multifaith Housing Initiative has recently replaced 15 refrigerators thanks to the generosity of Hydro Ottawa. The new energy-efficient refrigerators have not only improved the living accommodations of our tenants but will also result in a reduction of electricity costs by about $60 per year for each of the low-income residents receiving a new refrigerator. What appears to be a small gesture to some is very significant to us. Every improvement we make in our units directly impacts the quality of living for all of our tenants.
Yesterday, we opened our doors to our partners and the media to show our excitement for a newly funded pilot program that will have a positive impact on children and youth in the Banff/Ledbury area. The pilot is being funded through a new United Way Ottawa Targeted Community Investment (TCI) supported by Stephen Greenberg and family. The $26,000 will enable us to enhance the program by adding educational components that incorporate math, language and science. This will address what we call “literacy loss” – a term used to describe the loss of reading, writing and comprehension skills that some children experience during the summer months.
Special guests Tim Brodhead and Paul Born kicked off the 2012 Leveraging Our Strengths Conference with an introduction the Collective Impact framework and approach in their keynote speech. More than 190 organizations – nonprofits, funders, community associations, and government – came together to develop a common understanding of the key conditions for successful impact. The conference offered a mix of speakers, community conversations on local collaborative initiatives, plenty of time for Q&A, and networking opportunities for those interested in advancing their collaborative efforts.
United Way Ottawa opened its doors to more than 200 community members at this year’s Annual General Meeting to tell the story of United Way Ottawa’s 2011 successes and challenges and to frame strategies for 2012. Speakers included Rick Gibbons, Chair of the Board of Directors, Michael Allen who spoke about what it means to be a “Community Impact United Way”, Jacline Abray-Nyman, President and CEO of United Way Canada, and Jamie McCracken, Chair of the Investment and Impact Review Committee (IIRC). Jamie spoke about the report created by the IIRC and its 37 recommendations for the organization, all of which were endorsed by United Way’s Board of Directors.