United Way helps to make communities healthier and more vibrant

It's a simple message with the community at the focus: Change starts here.

THE COMOX VALLEY Therapeutic Riding Society is one of the many local groups that benefit from United Way funding.

THE COMOX VALLEY Therapeutic Riding Society is one of the many local groups that benefit from United Way funding.

It’s a simple message with the community at the focus: change starts here.

The United Way Central & Northern Vancouver Island’s (UWCNVI) mandate is to bring people and resources together to create solutions that impact the community, making it healthier and more vibrant.

For new executive director Signy Madden, this means a focus on programs specifically targeting youth, families and seniors, a message she emphasized at the kickoff of their campaign earlier this month.

“We’re already funding 11 partner agencies so we need to continue to raise money and continue to fund social programs in the Comox Valley,” she noted. “We all know that the need in huge; anti-bullying programs, suicide prevention, helping vulnerable seniors, those are the programs our great partner agencies are already funding.”

She added their goal is to raise $225,000 in this area alone.

Brad Bayly, community development co-ordinator, explained the United Way of today is shifting its focus to place more emphasis on addressing the underlying causes of social problems.

“We work to effect long term changes that can be sustained and that make a measurable difference in the community — a difference we can demonstrate,” he explained.

“Community impact begins with identifying the social issues most important to community. It’s about preventing issues from happening so that fewer individuals and families find themselves in difficulty in the first place.”

Their proactive approach appreciates that no one organization can address the root causes by themselves.

“There are no single or simple solutions to the issues,” Bayly added. “To address them, requires a concerted and collaborative community effort to ensure that systems, policies and behaviours are aimed at preventing  issues and creating solutions for the those that exist.”

Bayly said the United Way bases its funding decisions upon local impact councils that represent the local community.

“These individuals are our specialists that each focus on representing a specific area of social services or issue faced by our community.”

The UWCNV has been helping people in the North Island since 1958, and has evolved from a fundraiser to a community development organization which facilitates collaboration and partnerships.

The United Way of Canada – Centraide Canada (UWC-CC) began in 1939 during the Great Depression, when the Community Chests and Councils division of the Canadian Welfare Council was formed.

The organizations’ membership later recognized the opportunity to make enduring change by taking a broader approach to social policy and development.

In 1972, an independent corporate structure was established, and in 1975 came a name change to its present title.

UWC-CC is one of a handful of comprehensive community organizations in North America, with the national body representing a movement of 119 local United Ways – Centraides across the country.

Bayly noted the United Way is a unique entity because it focuses on the local community but carries a national knowledge base.

“The issues each community faces are quite similar across the country, but each have their own unique struggles and challenges. United Way solves these issues by utilizing the collaboration of local support with a worldwide brand.”

Bayly said the United Way’s strength comes from collaboration.

“We want to be indispensable when it comes (to that),” he said. “We want to create a stronger community so that they can do things on their own.”

Some of the community partners in the Comox Valley include the Boys & Girls Club of Central Vancouver Island, the Canadian Red Cross, Central Island Crisis Society, Comox Valley Therapeutic Riding Society, Stepping Stones Recovery House for Women Society and Comox Valley Senior Peer Counselling.

Bayley added all of the money raised in the Comox Valley stays in the Comox Valley.

“United Way is always there; we’re always in the background.”

To donate to the UWCNVI, visit www.uwcnvi.ca or call 250-338-1151. Crown Isle is also fundraising for the organization with its 11th annual Winefest on Nov. 3. from 6 to 9 p.m., with ticket proceeds going to the United Way. Tickets are $65 and can be purchased at the front desk or by calling 250-703-5000.

photos@comoxvalleyrecord.com

Just Posted

Temperatures are expected to soar by the weekend, with potentially record-breaking heat in the low 30Cs. Those looking to beat the heat in the ocean are advised to pack plenty of sunscreen and water. Black Press file photo
Potential record-breaking heatwave heading to the Comox Valley

“It’s the start of the season and we’re not quite acclimatized to warm temperatures”

Vice-Admiral Bob Auchterlonie assumed leadership of the Canadian Joint Operations Command on June 18. File photo
Vice-Admiral Auchterlonie assumes leadership of Canadian Joint Operations Command

On June 18, Vice-Admiral Bob Auchterlonie returned to the Canadian Joint Operations… Continue reading

Bill Anglin (Comox Valley Healthcare Foundation president & 50/50 Sponsor), Robert Mulrooney (Comox Valley Healthcare Foundation board director & 50/50 sponsor), Jessica Aldred (Comox Valley Healthcare Foundation executive director), and Chris Morrison (Church St. Taphouse co-Owner and manager) in front of Church St. Taphouse in Comox. Photo submitted
Church St. tapping beer for Comox Valley Healthcare Foundation all week

With a heatwave hitting the Comox Valley this week, a beer on… Continue reading

FILE – Perry Bellegarde, National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations, takes part in an event on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Tuesday, July 7, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Indigenous Peoples Day must be a ‘call to action’, says Assembly of First Nations chief

Discovery of children at Kamloops residential school site must lead to change, Perry Bellegarde says

CSWM is working on engineering and design for the next landfill cell. Record file photo
CSWM makes budget change for new landfill cell

“It bears to note for the public, you’re paying for it one way or the other here.”

The border crossing into the United States is seen during the COVID-19 pandemic in Lacolle, Que. on February 12, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
VIDEO: Border quarantine to soon lift for fully vaccinated Canadians

Eligible travellers must still take multiple COVID-19 tests

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Skeena MLA Ellis Ross. (Photo by Peter Versteege)
BC Liberal leadership candidate condemns ‘senseless violence’ of Okanagan church fires

Skeena MLA Ellis Ross says reconciliation isn’t about revenge for past tragedies

A coroner’s inquest will be taking place at the Capitol Theatre in Port Alberni for the next week. (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)
Teen B.C. mom who died following police custody recalled as ‘friend to many’

Police sent Jocelyn George to hospital after intoxication had gone ‘beyond the realm’ of normal detox

FILE - In this Nov. 29, 2020, file photo, Las Vegas Raiders defensive end Carl Nassib leaves the field after an NFL football game against the Atlanta Falcons in Atlanta. Nassib on Monday, June 21, 2021, became the first active NFL player to come out as gay. Nassib announced the news on Instagram, saying he was not doing it for the attention but because “I just think that representation and visibility are so important.” (AP Photo/John Bazemore, File)
Nassib becomes first active NFL player to come out as gay

More than a dozen NFL players have come out as gay after their careers were over

Penticton Indian Band Chief Greg Gabriel speaks to the Sacred Hearts Catholic Church burning down early Monday morning, June 21, 2021. (Monique Tamminga Western News)
Penticton band chief condemns suspicious burning of 2 Catholic churches

Both Catholic church fires are deemed suspicious, says RCMP

COVID-19 daily cases reported to B.C. public health, seven-day moving average to June 17, 2021. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infections drop to 90 on Sunday, 45 Monday

Pandemic spread dwindles as 77% of adults receive vaccine

Emergency vehicles are parked outside of the Wintergreen Apartments on Fourth Avenue. (SUSAN QUINN / Alberni Valley News)
Port Alberni RCMP investigate stabbing on Fourth Avenue

Two men were found with ‘significant’ injuries near Wintergreen Apartments

By protesting uninvited in First Nations’ territories, conservationists are acting in a neocolonial or paternalistic manner, says Huu-ay-aht Chief Robert Dennis. Photo by Heather Thomson
A closer look: do Vancouver Island First Nations support the war in the woods?

First Nations/environmentalist old growth alliance uneasy, if it exists at all

Most Read