Celebrating Dal's culture of giving
Dal's 88th United Way campaign kicks off Wednesday
Regis Dudley - October 11, 2013
Community service lies at the heart of Dal’s history. And for close to a century, one of the strongest expressions of that service has been Dal's support for United Way.
Next Wednesday, Dalhousie will kick off its 88th year of partnership with United Way, launching this year’s campaign to support good work in our community. Last year, the university raised a whopping $178,953 in its campaign.
This fall, for the first time, all four of Dalhousie's campuses will join forces to work towards a fundraising goal of $200,000. The 2012 campaign is a tough act to follow, but President Richard Florizone is confident that Dal will deliver again in 2013.
“Dalhousians are known to embrace a good challenge,” he said. “I’m looking forward to bringing in big numbers this year.”
Learn more: Dalhousie United Way campaign website
Why United Way relies on Dal’s support
United Way Halifax and United Way Colchester County raise most of their funds through workplace donations and individual and corporate contributions. Being able to count on Dal’s support each year means that United Way can commit to supporting a wide variety of programs.
“Dal provides much-needed support to important organizations that would otherwise go underfunded,” said Shelley Miller, resource development officer for United Way Halifax. “Quite simply, community agencies rely on Dal and other organizations to make their work possible.”
Donations to Dal’s United Way campaign will go directly to the United Way’s work in the community. For example, donations made by faculty and staff on the Truro campus will benefit United Way Colchester County. Similarly, donations from faculty and staff on Dalhousie’s Halifax campuses will be directed to United Way Halifax (unless you would prefer to donate to United Way Colchester County, which is also permitted).
Money raised will support agencies that provide opportunities, strengthen neighbourhoods, build social capital and make healthy living a priority – agencies like:
- The Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA), an organization that teaches people with mental health problems the skills to budget, purchase and prepare nutritious meals through its Food Services Program.
- Alice Housing, which gives women escaping abuse a safe, comfortable place to live, with extra safety measures such as security cameras and shatter proof windows. Women can stay for two years while they build their skills, confidence and self-esteem.
- Ward Five Neighbourhood Centre gives children, parents, seniors and families a place to engage in activities and programs, ensuring the neighbourhood thrives.
- The Urban Farm Museum teaches families to grow healthy, nutritious food. Parents and children have the opportunity to work together to plant, water, weed and harvest their own vegetables. They also learn the importance of including healthy food in their diet, and benefit from the physical activity of gardening.
Making a difference
Giving to United Way helps prove that with support, people can overcome obstacles and use their difficult experiences to benefit others. Moreover, giving to United Way can spark a series of positive outcomes extending years into the future. Wayne MacNaughton’s story is an example of how donations can snowball into major successes.
Metro Non-Profit Housing Association funds housing in central Halifax and North Dartmouth for people who have been homeless or precariously housed.
Wayne MacNaughton was one of the first tenants and volunteers at Metro Non-Profit Housing’s Gottingen Street location. He credits United Way Halifax with helping him secure a safe place to live and the opportunity to volunteer.
“I got involved in the Community Action on Homelessness and had the chance to be chair of their steering committee,” said MacNaughton. “I was part of one of 60 communities across Canada that had a chair who has been homeless.”
MacNaughton believes having computer and Internet access is essential to his anti-poverty activism.
“As a visually-impaired person with mobility issues, it’s hard to stay connected to people,” explained MacNaughton. “That’s the kind of thing your money goes to. It helps someone like myself stay connected and make a contribution to the community in the best way I can. Thank you very much.”
Dalhousie’s United Way Campaign will launch in Halifax and Truro on Wednesday, October 16. All Dalhousie faculty, staff and students are welcome to attend as we celebrate past accomplishments and launch this year’s campaign. Event details can be found here.
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