United Way Campaign

Poverty is Solvable - be a problem solver.

  • In the Alberta Capital Region, over 120,000 people, approximately 10 per cent of our population, live in poverty.  37,000 of them are children
  • They are everyday citizens who have hit a rough patch in their lives, or suffer from mental health issues or addictions. The economic costs of poverty are staggering and are incurred through health care, policing and social services. 
  • Did you know it costs taxpayers more to leave someone homeless rather than to provide them with suitable shelter?  
  • For the cost of just two lattes per month, you could provide healthy snacks at a preschool for two months and help to break the cycle of poverty.

Your donation has a real and tangible impact on the lives of those in our community.

Here are some of the ways United Way is helping those in need our community, through the generous donations of people like you:

Operation Friendship

United Way has been funding Operation Friendship since 1974 

  • In 2013, the Drop In program at Operation Friendship seniors society provided 102,000 meals, ensuring low-income seniors had access to nutritious meals daily.  During the year, the agency also provided 133 people with access to a shower, 243 people with clothing, 87 people with foot care, and 83 people with haircuts.
  • In 2013, Operation friendship seniors society provide 260 individuals with assistance with transportation to medical appointments, the bank, shopping, and social opportunities.  This assistance has allowed seniors to access vital services necessary to keep them connected, healthy, and independent for as long as possible in the community.
A $365 donation will feed 200 people beef stew at the free drop in lunch that Operation Friendships Seniors Society provides daily to inner city Seniors.

Institute for Sexual Minority Studies and Services

United Way started funding ISMSS in 2008 and provided ISMSS with $25,000 for their Community Outreach program.

  • In 2013, 83 clients accessed over 627 hours of individual and/or family counselling provided by a registered Psychologist through the Institute for Sexual Minority Studies and Services; session successfully contributed to sexual and gender minority children, youth and families' overall health and coping.
  • ISMSS' Registered Psychologist provided a total of 11 sessions for each of our monthly support groups (PFLAG and Trans & Gender Questioning Youth Group), which provided support to a total of 86 unique participants. These groups provided a sense of belonging and decreased the sense of isolation for sexual and gender minority youth.
  • The Registered Psychologist at the Institue for Sexual Mintority Studies and Services provided over 140 hours of consultative services for 126 different service providers working in the Edmonton area, providing them with tools and skills to support their sexual and gender minority clients.

A donation of $1,000 sends one vulnerable youth, all expenses paid, to Camp fYrefly for a summer camp experience they will never forget. The camp is designed to help youth develop the leadership skills and personal resiliency necessary for them to become agents for positive change in their schools, families, and communities.


Boys & Girls Clubs Big Brothers Big Sisters Society of Edmonton and Area

One of these agencies, the Boys & Girls Clubs Big Brothers Big Sisters Society of Edmonton and Area, will benefit from fundraising campaigns such as ours. In 2013, they received $582,860 from the United Way which went to the following programs:

Mentoring Program


Neighbourhood Clubs


Volunteer Resource Unit

  • The United Way has funded Boys & Girls Clubs since 1973 and Big Brothers Big Sisters since 1989 and the two agencies amalgamated in 2012.
  • In 2013, Boys & Girls Clubs Big Brothers Big Sisters of Edmonton provided over 4,225 individual children and youth in the Edmonton and Area with programming and mentoring relationships. These translate into opportunities to develop the skills and knowledge they need to achieve their full potential with a focus on key areas of healthy child and youth development.
  • 3009 volunteers were given the opportunity to give back to their community through volunteering opportunities with Boys & Girls Clubs Big Brothers Big Sisters of Edmonton. Families consistently report that their children are building self-esteem and self-confidence, as well as knowledge, skills and abilities though volunteer led mentoring and program activities. 

A $1,200 donation provides a free summer picnic for 400 kids, volunteers and families; outings like this allows program participants, volunteers and their families the chance to recognize and celebrate the positive impact they are all making in our community.

Show your support...

 “The United Way continues to be an integral part of the funding framework for so many vital organizations in our Community, and I am proud to be a Supporter.”

Doug Goss, Q.C.
Chair, Board of Governors


“Every day the organizations supported by the United Way are making a real difference in Edmonton and Alberta.  These are the people supporting the homeless on the streets, helping young people get back on track, feeding the hungry.  This is work that should not be necessary in the rich province we live in, but it is.  And the money from the United Way can pay for that work, in ways that other grants and project funds cannot.  It puts gas in the van, it keeps the lights on, it makes it possible for the committed staff and volunteers to do their essential work.  I have been a supporter of the United Way for over 20 years; it is the least I can do to make this a better place for everyone.”

Lesley Cormack, PhD
Dean, Faculty of Arts


Sign the United Way statement of support to end poverty in the capital region.

Did you know...

The participation in the university community for 2013 was only 8%. Imagine how much more we could do to help those in need in our community if we doubled that rate? Start today - your donation, not matter the size will make a positive difference to someone in the community. Making a pledge is easy and can be one time, in installments, by cheque, credit card or easy payroll deductions.

If you would like to make a donation, follow this link to United Way's secure site to make your electronic donation today.

Donate Online


Contact Us

Darlene Bryant
U of A United Way Campaign Chair
Initiatives Lead, University Relations
6-92 GSB
Edmonton, AB  T6G 2H1

phone:  780.492.6892
email: darlene.bryant@ualberta.ca