2020 Difference Makers

We’re so grateful to each and every one of our 2020/21 donors (all 7,558 of you)!

Thank you for trusting United Way’s local expertise to invest your generous donations into community where they are needed most. We know there’s still a lot of work to do, but we’re hopeful for what’s possible when we are united by our compassion for community.

We recently caught up with three donors — Corey, Levi, and Dale — to ask them a few questions about their support of United Way Halifax. Here’s what they had to say:

Photo of a donor named Corey with a red banner that reads: United By Compassion

Corey Aalders
Communications Officer, Nova Scotia Public Service Commission & United Way Employee Campaign Coordinator

Q: The pandemic brought unprecedented challenges to our community. Did it feel even more important to donate to United Way Halifax this year?
A: Yes definitely. Food insecurity and homelessness during the pandemic became even more real for many folks in HRM. I know that United Way Halifax is the most effective and efficient way to help people who truly are in need. They are one of the largest funders of social service programming and a leader in tackling the most challenging issues facing Nova Scotians. I’m really proud to know that our governments, non-profit sector and business community helped to assist those in need and put food on their tables.

Q: Is there anything else that motivates or inspires you to give to United Way Halifax each year?
A: I’m so proud to be a part of the United Way Halifax family! Each year, as part of our annual workplace campaign I find myself inspired by the small yet mighty team at United Way Halifax. Their dedication, compassion and commitment are contagious and give me the chance to make a meaningful difference in my community.

Q: What would you say to a friend who was considering a donation to United Way Halifax?
A: With United Way, the money you donate helps people locally. You never know who might need or use the local programs funded by United Way – a friend, a family member, a colleague or maybe even me or you. I LOVE my community and I know that the best way to support it is with a local gift to United Way.

9 year old Levi runs through a finish line with his hands in the air. A red tag on the photo reads: United By CompassionLevi
Nine-year-old runner & Atlantic Compassion Fund fundraiser

Q: Tell me a little bit about your fundraiser that you did last year during the pandemic.
A (Levi): I did 112 laps for homeless people so they could have a room to isolate. When I figured out how much a hotel room cost, I knew I didn’t have that much money. But people living outside need somewhere to isolate and stay warm. I think I wanted to do it because other kids did the same thing for frontline workers. My guess is that I raised about $1,063.

A (Levi’s Dad): When I told Levi about the six-year-old who ran to raise money for frontline personal protective equipment and the 100-year-old WWII veteran who walked around his garden 100 times, he knew exactly who he wanted to support with his fundraiser: people experiencing homelessness. He was really worried about making sure they were protected during the pandemic. Sometimes kids surprise you with the things they hear or pick up on.

Q: What was your favourite part about your run for United Way’s Atlantic Compassion Fund?
A (Levi): I felt proud of myself for finishing the laps. I took some breaks and walked a little bit. My favourite part was how every time I finished a lap my dad would blow the horn. I ran by myself, my dad and my brother were there to cheer me on and we counted my laps with my dad’s iPad.

A (Levi’s Dad): In total, Levi’s 112 laps around a local school playground added up to 10km. It’s the longest run he’s ever done. And he did, in fact, raise $1,060 for United Way’s Atlantic Compassion Fund which I discovered with some research once Levi announced he wanted to help people who were homeless.

headshot of a United Way board member and volunteer with a red tag that reads: United By CompassionDale Noseworthy
Chief Financial Officer, Killam Apartment REIT & United Way Halifax Board of Directors and Chair of the Audit & Finance Committee

Q: Your donation to United Way’s Community Fund powers a network of critical community programs all over the HRM. Why do you think this is important?
A: There are many organizations making a difference across Halifax, many of which I would not be aware of without my involvement with United Way. Their partnerships broaden the reach and impact of donor dollars across the community, which will make our community stronger.

Q: What personal values do you and United Way Halifax share? (our values are adaptability, compassion, integrity, respect, and collaboration).
A: Integrity and respect stand out. Integrity is key to me and the people closest to me. I’ve seen integrity be a guiding principle of the United Way team throughout my involvement with them. In addition, I’ve seen countless examples of United Way Halifax providing a voice for people who may not otherwise have a platform to tell their story. This respect for all community members reminds all of us to take notice of the challenges faced by many.

Q: Is there anything else that motivates or inspires you to make a difference in your community?
A: It’s inspiring to hear stories of the positive impact of United Way, and other community organizations, make to individuals and families. I also love the opportunity to work with a diverse group of people and be part of positive change in this great city.