United Way

Fall 2013

Change a life today United Way Winnipeg

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02 • UNITED WAY FALL 2013 Winnipeg is an amazing place to live, one which I am so proud to call home. But as great as this city is, we have the potential to be even greater. Imagine a city in which everyone feels safe and secure, and where everyone has the opportunity to lead a full and happy life. Our family has been involved in United Way for generations now. While we support many worthwhile causes, I can tell you that United Way is the best investment you can make in your community. It's the best way to make a real difference in the lives of others, and in the lives of you and your family. The truth is we can't predict the future. There are times in our lives when we will all need help. That's why one of United Way's key strategies to realize our vision for a greater Winnipeg is through the support of an essential network of programs and services that will be ready and available when people need it most. I invite you to take the time to read the stories Bill, Cassandra and Austin have shared on the following pages. They are just three of many thousands of people who have changed their lives, and the lives of others, for the better through this essential network, and because of the generosity of people like you. My hope is that everyone who needs help in our city is able to find it – and that you will join me to ensure this is possible. Please, invest in this year's United Way campaign. No matter the size of your gift you can change the life of someone for the better and help drive Winnipeg forward. Steve Chipman 2013 Campaign Chair DRIvING FORWARD IN WINNIPEG My Name is Austin DID YOU KNOW? After school hours are a peak time for youth crime, including ar- son and drug offences (source: Stats Canada, 2008). Last year, youth in Winnipeg accessed services and supports aimed at keeping them safe during the critical hours when they are not in school a total of 56,621 times. I was 12 when I first moved to the Brooklands area. If you live here, you go to school near Polo Park. So there's not much for kids to do around here after school. There's not much to offer. But a friend told me about NoA (NorWest on Alexander). They have activities for kids. When it's nice outside we can play games in the field. Or we plan water balloon fights and barbecues. Inside we play board games, draw and play on the Wii or go on the computers. Caprice, the woman who works here, said I was very good with kids. She said I was natural at it. So a few years ago I asked about volunteering and helped over the summer watching the kids and leading the activities. I also like to cook, so every Tuesday I would get five kids from the group and we'd look for recipes on the computers. Then we'd go in the kitchen and bake stuff. One time we made brownies and we made chocolate chip cookies and a few other things. Then, at the start of this year, Caprice hired me to help with after school programs. Basically I am an event co-ordinator. I plan a fun day for the children … keep an eye on them. I would like to become a chef so Caprice is going to help me get my Safe Food Handlers Certificate and she wants me to run a cooking program here on Saturdays. Without this place, I think kids around here would just be getting into trouble. Maybe it helps them when they grow up. Maybe it helps them feel not so alone. I just like helping. It's something good to do. And it's good for you. It keeps you out of trouble and it makes it a better community. Helping kids in Winnipeg be all they can be To succeed in school and life, children need role models and the skills to help them graduate and achieve their potential. United Way currently partners with organizations throughout our community, like NorWest on Alexander Avenue, to deliver programs that are proven to help kids be all they can be. Thanks to Winnipeggers' generosity, United Way is able to invest in strategies and partnerships that provide mentorship, counselling and out-of-school supports that nurture self-esteem, confidence, positive behaviour and a sense of belonging so kids like Austin can grow into engaged, productive and community-minded adults. A donation of just 50 cents a day or $182 per year can connect one youth at risk like Austin with mentor support, leadership opportuni- ties and positive alter- natives to drugs, gangs and life on the street. It doesn't take much to make a big difference

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