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.
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.
This year the “York Street Ultimate March Break Camp” was created by youth between the ages of 13 and 19, giving youngsters in the Lowertown neighbourhood an experience that every child is entitled to, but one that these children might not otherwise get. This is just one of 14 community projects created and led by young people that are receiving funding through United Way’s Youth Action Grant program.
Dr. Jeffrey Turnbull was one of the evening’s first stars, recognized as the 2012 Community Builder of the Year Award for the daily care he offers to the homeless and the vision and leadership he demonstrates to his profession, our local hospitals, our doctors of the future and our community.
Do you know the most pressing social issues facing our city? Watch this video to find out why we focus our efforts where we do, and what we’re doing to make lasting change in our community.