United Way at York raises $140,000 towards its goal

The University’s 2010 United Way Campaign has raised $140,000 from York community members towards its $200,000 goal and is now entering its final phase.

Donations are still being accepted and Yvette Munro, York’s United Way employee campaign chair, is confident the York community will come through in reaching the campaign goal. If you have not received or have lost your e-mail request to donate to the United Way, send an e-mail to uway@yorku.ca. For those who prefer a paper pledge, they can still do so by calling 416-736-2100 ext. 44206.

“The amount raised will go a long way toward helping this city’s most vulnerable citizens,” says Munro. “Once again this year, it’s easier than ever to donate to the United Way through payroll deduction, but members of the York community can also donate by cheque or credit card.”

Not Your Average Spelling Bee

Come join in a fun challenge of your spelling abilities at the Not Your Average Spelling Bee in support of the United Way. Get your teams ready and sign up.

The Not Your Average Spelling Bee will take place on Thursday, Feb. 10, from 11:30am to 1:15pm at the Underground Restaurant.

This is the third consecutive year for the event, hosted by University Events & Community Relations. It is played in Jeopardy-style format, with four-person teams from across campus competing for the title of “Best Spellers”. Past winners have included teams from the Centre for Human Rights and the Secretariat.

This year’s event will be moderated by Vice-President University Relations Jennifer Sloan. All members of the York community are invited to purchase tickets for lunch ($15 for staff and faculty and $12 for students) and cheer on their favourite team.

To register your team in the Not Your Average Spelling Bee, fill in the Team Registration Form. To RSVP to be a part of the audience, including lunch, fill in the Lunch & Audience Registration Form. All proceeds go to the United Way.

For more information, contact Carolyn McDougall, manager of community relations in the Office of University Events & Community Relations (UECR), at cmcdoug@yorku.ca or Farayi Mundangepfupfu, visitor & community relations assistant in UECR, at farayi@yorku.ca.

Joanne Duklas, associate vice-president, enrolment management, and University registrar, and Schulich School of Business Professor Pat Bradshaw are this year’s United Way leadership co-chairs. “It’s really important that we all get behind this year’s campaign,” says Duklas.

Funds raised help the United Way Toronto reach hundreds of thousands of people every year and impact their lives in a positive way. In one year, donations made it possible for 43,790 children up to age six to participate in a school readiness program, 306,000 newcomers and refugees to participate in programs to help them settle and integrate in this country, and 190,147 people to participate in food security programs. The overall mission of the United Way is to meet urgent human needs and improve social conditions.

Small donations can add up to big rewards. For $11, one senior can get a car ride to and from a doctor’s appointment. About $40 is all that is needed to provide settlement services to a newcomer, providing information, support and resource access toward a new life in Canada. One family can have their own plot in a community vegetable garden for five months for $84. For each $520 raised, two at-risk youth can participate in a 10-week program that addresses aggressive behaviour and teaches them new coping skills when faced with challenging situations. Twenty homeless people can be given food, support services and a day of shelter for $1,060.

Through its network of about 200 agencies, the United Way Toronto reaches single parents, women who have been abused, young children and teenagers, the elderly, the physically challenged, the homeless and newcomers.

For the second consecutive year, the United Way Toronto has tied for first spot in the Voluntary Sector Reporting Awards program among charities with revenues over $10 million. The awards program, launched by Queen’s School of Business and the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Ontario, recognize charities that are leaders in transparency, accountability and reporting in the not-for-profit sector.

For more information, visit the Office of University Events & Community Relations or the United Way Toronto.