We don’t need to look far to see signs of the hardship being experienced by many in our community: An estimated 33 per cent of Calgarians have felt stress due to their finances, while one in five Calgarians say they struggle to easily buy food and groceries.
From housing to groceries; to keeping the heat on and the water running; from the social isolation of the COVID-19 pandemic to the social isolation of poverty; and from the mental health challenges of intergenerational trauma to the stress and anxiety brought on by constant change — the needs and the problems are all around us. But, thankfully, so are the solutions.
When people are at their best — physically, mentally and emotionally — something powerful happens. Organizations such as United Way of Calgary and Area are vital for creating a resilient and caring community where everyone thrives. They see the increasing complexity of the needs in our community. Rarely existing on their own, life challenges cross and touch on many areas of our lives; at the same time, they often deeply affect the lives of those around us.
Building a better tomorrow
Inflation numbers continue to skyrocket in our community. Data from The City of Calgary’s August Inflation Review shows our city is seeing an almost five per cent hike in prices.
To build a better tomorrow for all Calgarians, the University of Calgary joins forces with the United Way each year. This year’s United Way Workplace Campaign runs from Oct. 5 to Dec. 15, with a goal of raising $370,000.
Funds raised will address issues like the inflation crisis through the lens of four key outcomes: Socioeconomic Well-Being, Mental Health, Social Inclusion, and Healthy Relationships.
Throughout this year’s campaign, UToday will share inspirational stories that address concerns from each of the four key areas.
UCalgary and United Way
United Way's mission — to mobilize communities for lasting social change — has remained the same through the years. The organization’s main goal in 2023 is to drive donations to its Community Impact Fund.
The fund provides stable funding to more than 120 agencies, ensuring Calgarians can access services and supports when and where they need them. The fund supports United Way in responding to urgent and emerging community issues, seeding innovative ways to tackle society's biggest problems while transforming the systems perpetuating societal disparities.
Giving to the Community Impact Fund is the best way to make an impact, as funds are targeted to where they are needed most in our community. More than 167,000 Calgarians saw a positive impact from the fund in 2022.
UCalgary has supported the United Way campaign for more than 20 years, collaborating to build support by offering expertise, resources and innovative thinking. Last year, the campus community came together and raised more than $368,000 for the 2022 United Way Workplace Campaign. The hope is to better that this year.
Sparks of Gratitude campaign
UCalgary’s Sparks of Gratitude campaign is a fun new way to show appreciation for your colleagues and give to United Way at the same time. Named after the logo used to promote the Start something brand-awareness initiative, this campaign supports a positive, engaged culture and helps make UCalgary a great place to work and learn.
Donate $10 and receive five “sparks” to share with your colleagues. Write messages of thanks, encouragement or just let someone know how they make UCalgary a better place for all.
Purchase a spark, or learn more. Collect your sparks from your area’s United Way Cabinet representative. The United Way Cabinet is a committee of UCalgary leaders taking on the responsibility of leading fundraising efforts within each respective faculty/unit.
Faculty and staff can help address the needs of our community by giving to the United Way today. To donate, log in with your UCalgary email address and password.