Almost 90 years after it was formed, the partnership between Dalhousie and United Way shows no signs of slowing down.
Staff, students and community members gathered in the Studley Quad Tuesday afternoon for the kickoff of Dal’s annual United Way campaign on campus. Featuring food, games and fun, this year’s launch event was accurately dubbed ‘The Carnival of Caring.’
“This is just one way we’ve proceeded to make people aware of the United Way,” said Mike Conrad with Dalhousie’s Faculty of Dentistry and one of the two co-chairs of this year’s Dal campaign. “As President Florizone said, we are part of the community and it’s our responsibility to provide support.”
The United Way campaign takes place across all Dalhousie campuses, with each location — Halifax, Truro, Saint John — supporting their local United Way branch in their own community.
Learn more: Dalhousie United Way campaign website
For United Way Halifax, its four priorities this year are “opportunities,” “neighbourhood,” “social capital” and “healthy living.” All proceeds collected from the three-week campaign on the Halifax campuses will be distributed to local agencies that support goals in these areas.
“We also trying to develop connections with United Way and other organizations within Halifax,” said Shelley Miller, resource development officer with United Way Halifax. “We’re working towards a homelessness partnership with Nova Scotia and the HRM and we just signed an agreement hopefully to end homelessness by 2019, so that is our biggest priority right now.”
Since 1925, Dalhousie has contributed over $3.3 million to aid in United Way’s fight against poverty and improving community health. Last year’s campaign saw Dal staff and students raise over $136,000, and the goal for this year’s workplace campaign is to increase that donation to $200,000. Considering the large contributions to date, both Miller and Conrad are confident that this goal will be achieved.
Partnerships with students
In addition to raising funds and awareness, the partnership between Dal and United Way of Halifax has also facilitated several co-op placements for students.
Emily Nunn, a third-year Commerce student majoring in Finance at Dal, has been completing her co-op hours at United Way since September. As a loaned representative, she is responsible for managing the elementary, junior high and high schools division in Halifax.
“If you’ve moved to Halifax and aren’t from this community, it’s a great way to get involved in where you’re living now,” she said. “The United Way helps so many agencies that help the locals, which I think is very important.”
The other co-op student at United Way for the fall term is Dana Ball, who is responsible for the post secondary division. She oversees United Way campaigns at NSCAD, NSCC, SMU, and of course, Dalhousie.
“It’s a great thing to do to give back to your community,” said Ball. “It’s the best co-op I’ve had so far. Every day is something different.”
For those looking to participate in the campaign, donations can be made online through Dalhousie during the three-week campaign, or throughout the year using the United Way Halifax website.
“Even with Canada-wide organizations, you can never be sure where the money is going,” said Nunn, speaking to the United Way's local impact. “What’s great about United Way Halifax is that it stays in Halifax and that’s where we’re all living.”
More on the campaign: Dalhousie United Way website
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