The University of Waterloo’s United Way Campaign has always brought the campus together. Releasing our annual report this summer, after what has been a challenging two and half years, provides a feeling of hope for those of us on the campaign committee. We want to sincerely thank our dedicated supporters, volunteer ambassadors and campaign donors; you help make a difference in the health and well-being of our community. Together, we can support our Region as it works to rebuild and strengthen our society.
With so many of us working remotely, it’s important to reflect on the ‘togetherness’ that the campaign brings to the University community and highlight the importance of philanthropy.
Looking back on our 2021 campaign, we asked former United Way Campaign staff co-chair, Kim Gingerich, why she continues to support the United Way:
There are so many individuals within our community that are in need of support that our agencies have to offer. By participating in the United Way campaign at the University of Waterloo, we can be proud knowing that our donations helped make a difference for many people within our community. I look forward to supporting the United Way in 2022.
Adding to the importance of the campaign to our community, current campaign staff co-chair, Alice Raynard, said:
Everyone benefits with the United Way, from donors and volunteers to beneficiaries. It brings out the best in people and I am amazed at the difference it makes in our community: we are engaged, we belong, we are generous, and we grow together.
Special messages of thank you and welcome
Our 2020 and 2021 United Way Campaigns were supported by the enthusiastic leadership of Jennifer Dean, Associate Director of Undergraduate Studies in the School of Planning within the Faculty of Environment. Her contribution, as the faculty co-chair for our Campaign was significant and admired. She was a force of positivity on the committee – especially needed during the pandemic when there were so many unknowns. Jennifer’s last day with the committee was in February 2022 and she will be missed.
However, we are excited to welcome Gordon Savage, Systems Design Engineering Professor, into the role of faculty co-chair for the 2022 United Way Campaign. Gordon notes that “I had been thinking about offering my time to community work for the past year, and when the opportunity to join the United Way Campaign came up, I knew it was the right fit.” He continues, “Now I can contribute in some small way to the many worthy causes supported by the United Way.”
We’re delighted Gordon has joined our Campaign and look forward to the many initiatives our committee will complete under his and Alice Raynard’s leadership.
Our new president inspires
During our 2021 Campaign kick-off event on September 28, our new president Vivek Goel connected the United Way’s work to community health. “To truly ensure everyone in our community has an opportunity to achieve the best possible health outcomes, we need to support organizations like the United Way that fund community agencies that help address these broad determinants of health.” We also heard from several key members of our campus community, as well as United Way Waterloo Region Communities’ Joan Fisk and Nancy Bird. “We achieve local solutions to local problems”. Their message challenges us to contribute to the health and well-being of our society by supporting the United Way campaign.
Deans change their approach, not their creativity
In late-October, senior academic leadership (i.e., the Deans) stepped up to help build awareness and excitement across campus. Due to the unique circumstances the pandemic invoked, the Deans couldn’t do their traditional costume march. However, they auctioned off several fascinating items and baked goods. Who knew that our Deans could bake such amazing treats? This group is truly talented and dedicated to the United Way’s cause, raising $1,788 in the process.
Our sincere gratitude towards the Deans and their continuing support cannot be overstated.
Sheila Ager, Faculty of Arts
Mary Wells, Faculty of Engineering
Traditional Christmas fruitcake
Jean Andrey, Faculty of Environment
Lili Liu, Faculty of Health
Mark Giesbrecht, Faculty of Mathematics
16th Century British Man O’ War Ship
Bob Lemieux, Faculty of Science
We’re proud of the success of the 2021 Campaign during such a challenging time and appreciate every individual donation from members of the UW committee, and for each special event organized by our dedicated ambassadors across campus. Our ambassadors poured their energy into creating virtual events, which couldn’t have been easy, but they certainly made it look that way.
We are excited to see what 2022 will bring!