Calgarians aren’t strangers to tough times. But regardless of the struggle, we always rally together to support one another.
Karen Young, president and CEO, United Way of Calgary and Area, has seen the community band together through challenges before. And she has witnessed how powerful united efforts can be.
“During the 2013 flood, Calgarians depended on organizations like United Way to provide vital support for the community,” says Young. “And our donors stepped up to help those who needed it most.”
With the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Young says rallying together is more important than ever. Through giving back, showing a little extra local love or taking the time to perform an act of kindness, Calgarians are helping the community when that support is needed most.
Why Rallying Together Matters Now More Than Ever
United Way helps improve the lives of more than 150,000 Calgarians every year by partnering with local agencies, philanthropists, workplaces and government to help ensure the right supports are in place for everyone in the community. Since the COVID-19 outbreak, that support has gone to families like Nadine’s.
As a registered nurse, Nadine is working on the front lines of the pandemic. But as a single mother of two children, school closures and a move to online learning created significant financial worries. Suddenly, Nadine needed to find a way to get her son a computer so he could join his new virtual class and stay on top of his learning.
United Way rallied the community and put out a call for financial support. The Calgary Flames Foundation responded and, soon after, 500 students — including Nadine’s son — received Chromebooks. For those 500 students, it’s now far easier to continue their online studies.
When Calgarians work together to become part of something bigger, powerful differences are made in people’s lives. Just five months after United Way launched its COVID-19 Community Response Fund in partnership with The City of Calgary (and Calgary Emergency Management Agency), more than 1,500 individuals and 90 corporations donated funds, helping 197 local services support Calgarians impacted by COVID-19.
“This is the time for us to show that true Calgarian spirit of generosity and compassion,” says Young.
United, We Can Make the Biggest Difference
But showing generosity and compassion doesn’t have to be a grand gesture.
“There are many ways the community can support one another,” says Young, explaining that connection is vital in times like these. “Check in with your friends and family. Check in with seniors who may need a helping hand. Even a small donation can make a difference in someone’s life because together with others’ donations, it creates tangible change.”
Every act of kindness has a ripple effect, creating waves of positive change that affect countless others.
“Our community needs us now more than ever. We are asking Calgarians to show their local love by helping in any way that they can,” says Young. “We know that great things happen when we come together.”
To learn more about United Way of Calgary and Area, or to donate funds to help your community, visit calgaryunitedway.org.
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