York’s 2009 United Way Campaign reaches the $90,000 mark

Spell anthropomorphism. How about subterranean? Those were just two of the words team members had to spell during last year’s Not Your Average Spelling Bee, which was organized by University Events & Community Relations, in support of the United Way. 

All members of York’s community are invited to a fundraising lunch marking the return of the Not Your Average Spelling Bee for the United Way Toronto on Thursday, Jan. 21, from 11:45am to 1:15pm at the Underground. Tickets are just $12 for students and $15 for faculty and staff and include a fun-filled show, a light lunch and a donation in support of United Way Toronto.

This is the second year for this United Way event hosted by the Office of University Events & Community Relations (UECR). The spelling bee will be moderated by Dean Alice Pitt, Faculty of Education.

To register a four-person team to compete for the title of  York’s Best Spellers, refer to the game details and submit a team registration form.

Why not plan to join the rest of your colleagues for this special lunch? If you are interested in attending organizers ask that you fill out the online RSVP, and enter event code "bee".

Campaign update

The year is fast coming to an end, but the 2009 York United Way campaign just keeps on accepting donations – and will to the end of December.

Even though the campaign officially wound down more than a week ago, another $40,000 in pledges have come in. The total raised since the campaign’s official start of Oct. 26 is now $90,000, even closer to the $200,000 goal campaign chair Yvette Munro hopes to reach early in the new year.

York’s Campus Services & Business Operations has raised $1,100 through weekly special events on behalf of the United Way. The United Way@work online donation program will continue to receive donations until Dec. 31. Paper pledges will also be accepted and if you would like to receive a pledge form, e-mail Munro at uway@yorku.ca or call her at ext. 77529.

Here’s some examples of what your donation gives to a person in need.

  • Did you know that your $100 monthly cell phone bill costs the same as it does to provide crisis and supportive counselling to a woman and her children who are victims of domestic violence? Now that’s something to call home about.
  • Rent that video game instead of buying it and put the $60 you would have spent towards allowing a senior to participate in a 10-week computer class to learn a new skill and stay connected to community.
  • Skip the friday night dinner out and put the $63 you would have spent towards allowing a caregiver family member a few hours of respite support three days per week, helping keep her elderly loved one with Alzheimer’s disease at home.

United Way Toronto’s CEO and President, Frances Lankin, has highlighted the issue of "food deserts" among low-income and priority neighbourhoods throughout the city of Toronto as being a new area of concern for the United Way

"With limited funds for transportation or mobility issues, many low-income people and newcomers are increasingly become more isolated in high rise dwellings with limited access to healthy, nutritious food," said Munro. "In some cases, the neighbourhood convenience store or gas station is the closest option. It’s no suprirse then that we see increased rates of diabetes and other health related challenges in these communities. United Way agencies such as FoodShare to address this issue." 

In the spirit of the season, fill out and submit in your pledge cards before the end of December so York can reach it’s 2009 goal – and so the Greater Toronto United Way can continue helping those in need for the next year.  And remember, If you don’t have a pledge card or did not receive an e-mail containing an online pledge form, Munro can send you one. Contact her by e-mail at uway@yorku.ca or by phone at ext. 77529 and she’ll put one in the University mail for you.

For more information about York University’s United Way campaign, click here.