Health & well-being: Community partnerships

The University of Waterloo is positively impacting the health and well-being of our community through partnerships with community organizations:   

United Way of Kitchener Waterloo & Area

Our students, faculty and staff have supported the United Way of Kitchener Waterloo & Area through our UWaterloo campaign for over 20 years. In 2013, we raised over $250,000 to benefit our community.   

Cancer research

Think Pink, our annual campaign to benefit the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation, is led by our Waterloo Warriors athletic teams. In the past 5 years, the generosity of our students and varsity fans has led to over $90,000 in contributions to breast cancer research.

Additionally, St. Jerome’s University College leads the Relay For Life campaign, donating thousands annually. We also continue to build our campus participation in Movember, raising funds and awareness for men’s health initiatives.

Local hospitals

Grand River Hospital and the University of Waterloo work in partnership to enhance health services research on a global scale and in the Waterloo Region.

By joining forces, these strong community leaders build upon existing research involving the two institutions. Studies to date have included stroke, cancer treatment, traumatic brain injury, and nutrition and aging. Enabling this world-class community hospital research to take place locally will elevate research excellence for both institutions and our community.

Waterloo also regularly partners with St. Mary's General Hospital on a number of projects and initiatives, including a volunteer-driven teddy bear drive organized by our School of Environment.

Food drives

In an effort to raise awareness of the need both on campus and in our community, Waterloo students, faculty and staff, routinely conduct on campus food drives. All food and funds raised benefit the Feds Food Bank, The Food Bank of Waterloo Region and Stratford House of Blessing. Programs include:

  • Trick or Eat, which is an annual program lead by our Federation of Students;

  • Waterloo Warriors athletics regularly accept donations at their games and events throughout the year;

  • Staff lead giving programs within various faculties and departments on campus;

  • UWaterloo Canbuild which is our campus-wide food drive and can building competition

Holiday giving

Waterloo staff, faculty and students join together to collect toy donations for underprivileged children in Waterloo Region during the holiday season.

Additionally, each year since 1997, various groups on campus have participated in Operation Christmas Child, creating and distributing over 100 shoeboxes filled with hygiene products, school supplies, toys and candy to children around the world.

Waterloo West NeighbourFest

Every fall, students in Waterloo's REC 220 course plan and host a day long free event for families in our community called the Waterloo West NeighbourFest, held in partnership with the YMCA of Cambridge, Kitchener and Waterloo and the Waterloo Public Library. Local families are encouraged to come out and make connections in their community through a variety of family-friendly activities.

Community leadership and volunteerism

Waterloo students, faculty and staff contribute to a wide range of non-profit organizations in our community.  Some of the partners we work with include:

  • House of Friendship

  • Habitat for Humanity

  • Out of the Cold

  • Ray of Hope