Our people

We couldn't do it without them

At first glance some of the things United Way volunteers do, like baking a cake for a bake sale, may seem small. But when that cake is sold at a bake sale in support of the United Way Kitchener-Waterloo & Area, the value of that cake grows.

The funds raised could provide a meal for a family in need, support individuals getting back on their feet, or assist a family that can’t afford after-school sports.

A volunteer is defined as: a person who voluntarily offers himself or herself for a service or purpose. Our volunteers put that definition into action. They recognize the positive changes they can help bring about in our communities. They encourage our generous campus community to look beyond Ring Road and make an impact in our wider community so that everyone feels included and supported. In short, our volunteers are this campaign.

  • 131 volunteers from 50 different units across campus

  • 550 donors, including faculty, staff and retirees

A team of student athletes stand in front of an airplane

The University of Waterloo's men's basketball team gave up their time to compete against several local teams in a plane pull during the United Way Kitchener-Waterloo & Area Community Kickoff event. The team worked together to pull a Nolinor 737 airplane across the finish line first, claiming the Plane Pull Trophy.


The University of Waterloo's United Way campaign benefits from many generous donations. We sat down to speak with one new donor about their decision to donate this year.

Marilyn Thompson may still consider herself a relative newcomer to Kitchener Waterloo, but she’s wasted no time in making a commitment to the area by making her first leadership level donation to the United Way Kitchener-Waterloo & Area.

Thompson, Associate Provost, Human Resources at UWaterloo, has a history of supporting community agencies, but she said that this year the United Way Kitchener-Waterloo & Area was an easy choice to make for multiple reasons. She notes that their focus on Healthy People, Strong Communities strongly resonated with her.

“You can’t overstate the importance of the psychological wellbeing and health of our students, faculty and staff. I recognize that by investing in the United Way, everyone benefits,” said Thompson. “When people come to work, they bring everything they are connected with - family, schools, leisure.  So by strengthening the community, we are helping the University.  We reflect our community.”


The University of Waterloo's United Way campaign is supported by many campus community members.We sat down to speak with two volunteers and the work they do to support the campaign.

Volunteering with the University of Waterloo's United Way campaign goes beyond the month of October for Office of Research area representatives, Heather Murphy and Christina Yee.

Murphy and Yee have found a way to help their office support the United Way Kitchener-Waterloo & Area year-round by hosting monthly coffee breaks throughout the spring (once a month usually in March, April and May). Each coffee break provides an opportunity to bring together the Office of Research team, while also raising approximately $200 for the United Way Kitchener-Waterloo & Area. They also host a bake sale at the beginning of the Campaign.

Murphy and Yee have found that volunteering to host United Way events throughout the year has helped spread out their fundraising events, increased their participation rates and raised more money. Murphy’s tip to other volunteers looking to take this approach is to “know your people”. Look at the ebbs and flows in your area of busy and not-so-busy times and the commitments that have been made to other causes.