Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

United Way close to meeting 2013 goal

Winnipeg businesses play key roles

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Just in time for Christmas, the United Way is getting ready to wrap up its annual campaign that helps spread good cheer and funding to local agencies all year round.

"Every year, Winnipeggers are very generous," said Bev Passey, vice-president of donor relations and resource development at the United Way. "They always come through and really care about the people in their city."

With the help of local corporations, the campaign has almost reached its goal of $20 million.

"It's a great opportunity to work together towards a goal," said Passey. "A life can change in an instant, and you never know when a co-worker or family member might need the agencies."

More than 1,000 local workplaces are part of the United Way's workplace campaign, which encourages companies to raise money for more than 100 agencies across Winnipeg including the Boys and Girls Clubs of Winnipeg and the Stroke Recovery Association of Manitoba.

Richardson International Limited is one of the corporations that took part in a two-week campaign to raise money.

"One of our key values is to give back," said Tracey Shelton, director of corporate communications at Richardson International Limited. "The generosity and commitment of our employees to the community is remarkable."

Richardson International Limited has been the top workplace campaign in the city for seven consecutive years.

Local companies such as Online Business Systems have also been fundraising.

"It's our responsibility to give back to the community," said Scott Sanders, executive director of Online Business Systems.

The company has been part of the United Way campaign for 15 years. This year, Online Business Systems has raised more than $35,000 for the United Way through staff donations.

"The United Way is the best option to make a meaningful difference," said Sanders. "They teach people in the community how to fish instead of just giving the fish away."

The money raised from corporations like these will go toward more than 245,000 people who benefit from the United Way Winnipeg's agency partners. This impacts around one in three Winnipeggers.

Agencies such as the Ma Mawi Wi Chi Itata Centre also take part in the workplace campaign and the spirit of giving. This year, the centre raised more than $18, 000 to give back to the United Way.

"When we say we're going to do something for someone, we do it," said Will Hudson, volunteer co-ordinator for the Ma Mawi Wi Chi Itata Centre.

The centre receives funding from the United Way and helps it provide culturally relevant services for aboriginal families in Winnipeg.

"We're going that extra mile to help our community," said Hudson. "We're helping them (the United Way) so we can help ourselves."

Anyone interested in donating to the United Way can call 204-477-5360 or visit UnitedWayWinnipeg.ca.

 

fraser.a.liz@gmail.com

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition December 21, 2013 B4

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