As we move into a special holiday season for many of us, we reflect on our past, ponder our present, and imagine the future.
There is no denying that this has been a tough year, perhaps the hardest ever for many in our community. 2020 has demanded a great deal, tested our resolve, and pushed some to the brink – and beyond – of personal crisis.
Families are struggling, businesses are fighting to hang on, and both our health-care system and our social safety net are bending under the weight of a surge in illnesses and in need.
We face the reality that we will have a very different holiday season than ever before. We won’t be able to gather with family and friends in the customary sense. Our traditions will be upended and many may find themselves feeling lonely and isolated during the holidays.
But the beauty and sentiment of this season always brings out the best in us. At United Way, we constantly marvel at the commitment to caring for the vulnerable in our frontline service agencies, within their volunteers, and among our donors. It truly is our community’s greatest gift and will allow us to weather this ongoing storm together.
While we concentrate on supporting local this holiday season, let’s make a commitment to showing our Local Love, too.
We are asking those who are counting their blessings this holiday season to pay forward some of their good fortune, to support delivery of critical lifelines to those who are struggling with unemployment, reduced income, mental health and isolation.
Investing in the work of United Way is the best way to maximize the impact of your donations. We support and build capacity within the agencies that have the greatest impact, the broadest reach and that are answering the deepest needs. Together, we are financially supporting more than 129 neighbourhood programs, with 20% at risk of closing their doors.
This is our moment to come together to secure the future of the network of local supports helping to address poverty, mental illness and isolation that so many of us, our friends, and our neighbours rely upon. What we do today builds a resilient, strong and vibrant community that is full of opportunity.
There is nothing we can’t tackle when we work as one, with a common resolve to make sure no one – whether it’s a child in a low-income home, an adult with a disability, or a senior with dementia – is left alone or left behind.
It is both our obligation and our greatest privilege to care for one another, to lift up those in need and to give hope to those who have been marginalized.
From our family at United Way to you and yours, thank you for all that you do for others to make our community a more loving, inclusive and kind place for all. We celebrate you this holiday season and wish you love, happiness and health as we look forward to welcome 2021.
President and CEO