Honouring our Difference Makers

Each year at our AGM, we take time to honour people and organizations who have stood out for the past year. This year was no different. However, our AGM was virtual this year. We couldn’t give out these awards in front of an in-person audience. We’re going to honour them by sharing this blog post – and we hope you’ll join us in saying congratulations.

To each and every one of our winners, thank you so much for your dedication, your commitment to improving our community, and your local love.

Helen Cooper Award
Woman standing beside United Way Halifax sign

Long-time United Way Halifax volunteer Monica Foster is our 2020 Helen Cooper Award winner

Helen Cooper was a volunteer who was active on United Way Halifax’s board of directors in the 1950s. Her commitment to community inspired United Way Halifax to honour her memory by presenting an award for long serving volunteer commitment.

This year, we were pleased to present this award to Monica Foster. For over two decades, Monica has served in numerous volunteer roles for United Way Halifax, playing a pivotal role in our work to address the issues of poverty, housing and isolation in neighborhoods across the HRM. She’s served on numerous United Way Halifax committees, including Governance, Community Impact, Fundraising Cabinet, premises, and Audit and Finance where she served as Chair of the Committee for three years.

Monica’s leadership, unshakable positivity and conviction has helped make millions in investments in the community possible.

Thank you and congratulations Monica!

Evelyn Barkhouse Long-Service Award
Four people standing together

Trina Fraser (second from the right) our 2020 Evelyn Barkhouse Long-Service Award Winner, stands with Mike Brownlow, Penny Wills and Tammy Thomas.

The Evelyn Barkhouse Long-Service Award recognizes and honors the passion, dedication and loyalty of a long-serving staff member of a United Way Halifax funded agency. We were pleased to announce this year’s Evelyn Barkhouse Long-Service Award winner is Trina Fraser. Trina is the long-time executive director of the East Preston Day Care.

Trina’s unmovable dedication to the children, families and the community of East Preston is undeniable. Many of the United Way staff have highlighted Trina’s welcoming nature and her eagerness to share stories, discuss impact, and speak proudly of the team at the East Preston Day Care Centre. This commitment to the organization and community is clearly demonstrated in the East Preston The 7 video which addresses the challenge of getting around East Preston actively and safely and shows the impact of these challenges on community.
Please join us in congratulating Trina on this much-deserved award.

Community Spirit Award
Atlantic Compassion Fund logo with Atlantic Business Interiors logo

Atlantic Business Interiors and the Rose Family were founding investors in the Atlantic Compassion Fund

The Community Spirit Award highlights an organization or person who has made an extraordinary commitment to our community. This year we’re presenting the award to Atlantic Business Interiors and the Rose family.

Tom Rose and his business, Atlantic Business Interiors, demonstrated incredible generosity and leadership in the development of the Atlantic Compassion Fund. Tom knew that vulnerable people would be further impacted by COVID-19. He stepped up to create the Atlantic Compassion Fund, matching the first $100,000, dollar for dollar. His business, Atlantic Business Interiors, donated $100,000 worth of in-kind office furniture. This supported the non-profit sector so they could work remotely. Tom’s daughter Maria joined in too. Her company, Steve-O-Reno’s, donated $10,000 in coffee and baked goods to local non-profits.

Their generosity inspired others to give, and the Atlantic Compassion Fund raised over $10 million. Over 400 charities were supported across the Atlantic provinces. This would not have been possible without the leadership of Tom, Maria and Atlantic Business Interiors. Thank you!

Partnership Award
Three people stand around a sign that says $600,000

In December 2019, we announced the creation of the Neighbourhood Kitchen Fund, with investments from BMO and Medavie

The Partnership Award celebrates organizations who find creative ways to partner with and support United Way Halifax. This year, we’ve awarded it to BMO and Medavie for co-creating the Neighbourhood Kitchen Fund.

The Neighbourhood Kitchen Fund will improve kitchen and gathering spaces, where people can enjoy good food and company in a warm, welcoming atmosphere. It will allow neighbourhood hubs to buy new appliances, update or renovate spaces and even buy new supplies like dishes. BMO stepped up as the initial investor with $300,000, and Medavie quickly agreed to match it with $300,000 of their own. Thank you BMO and Medavie!