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(HALIFAX, NS) April 25, 2017 — Halifax Regional Council has approved a motion to collaborate with United Way Halifax and other community partners on the development of an anti-poverty strategy for the municipality.
“This is an important day for Halifax,” says Sara Napier, president & CEO of United Way Halifax. “United Way Halifax has been focused on issues of poverty and health for almost a century, but this opportunity to work with Regional Council and engage the entire community to develop progressive poverty solutions for our municipality that focus on root causes is such a big step forward.”
Napier is quick to add that this work won’t begin at zero. “A number of agencies, groups and individuals are already making incredible strides to understand root causes of poverty and work towards solutions in our region – it’s really an honour for us to work with them to bring it all together.”
The collaboration with United Way Halifax was presented to the Regional Council’s Community Planning and Economic Development (CPED) standing committee on February 23 where it received unanimous support and a recommendation to Council.
“We are eager to take this vital step in planning for a better future for all residents of our communities,” said Mayor Mike Savage, who will co-chair the initiative. “As our city’s economy expands we must make every effort to ensure opportunities for more citizens. As Council members, we look forward to making this happen.”
One in eight people in Halifax live in poverty. It is a complex problem and developing sustainable solutions will require the input, ideas and support from a diverse group of community leaders and change-makers. “Community, business, first-voice, youth – everyone has a role to play in getting to solutions,” notes Napier.
To count yourself in, visit the United Way Halifax website.
About United Way Halifax
United Way Halifax is an impact organization that understands community need and opportunity in Halifax and brings people and resources together to address them. We envision our city to be united by compassion, rich in opportunity and free from poverty. Key areas of focus are poverty solutions, affordable housing and homelessness and inclusive communities. In this work we fund a network of community agencies and partner with municipal, provincial, federal, non-profit and private sector organizations.
Marketing & Communications Officer, United Way Halifax
(902) 461-3076 (o)
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Chief of Staff, Office of Mayor Mike Savage
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(HALIFAX, NS) December 9, 2016 — It's the season for giving. The International Association of Business Communicators (IABC) Maritime Canada Chapter is kicking off the holiday season with its 15th Annual Gift of Giving two-hour charitable event in partnership with United Way Halifax. Each year, Gift of Giving brings together local not-for-profit organizations and communication professionals. United Way funded organizations brief volunteers on the individual communications challenges they face, and IABC members and volunteers have an opportunity to share free strategic advice on how to tackle the issues.
“Our strong partnership with United Way Halifax is an important part of our organization’s history. This unique event began right here in Halifax in 2001, and now IABC chapters around the globe have adopted the model,” said Sarah Dawson, IABC Maritime Canada President. “Connecting with United Way partners gives our members an opportunity to share their communications expertise for community benefit. It’s very rewarding for everyone.”
Gift of Giving provides United Way funded organizations the gift of collective communications knowledge and expertise. Since 2001, Gift of Giving has helped dozens of local not-for-profits, and provided volunteer opportunities for communicators of all career levels.
“We look forward to this opportunity every year – it’s a special and important part of the holiday season,” said Sara Napier, President & CEO of United Way Halifax. “Gift of Giving is a meaningful way for us to support the strategic needs of our funded partners, and connect with professionals in our city who are inspired by the opportunity to share their talents for good.”
Funded partner communication needs can range from strategic planning, social media, community outreach, crisis communications and branding, attracting volunteers from IABC’s diverse membership base of professional communicators.
“Being part of a smaller, not-for-profit, this event gives our organization the opportunity to sit down with experts in the communications field,” said Anne Louise Desrosiers, The Club Inclusion. “We value the opportunity to discuss, and seek advice on, communications strategies that we otherwise would not be able to.”
Organizations participating in this year’s event also include; Chebucto Connections, Veith House, Adsum for Women and Children, and The Marguerite Centre.
Date: Dec 12, 2:30-4:30PM
Venue: Nova Scotia Power, 1223 Lower Water Street
Sociable: Holiday drinks and networking to follow at Little Oak Bar, 1745 Lower Water Street 5-7PM
About IABC Maritime Canada
The International Association of Business Communicators (IABC) enables a global network of communicators working in diverse industries and disciplines to identify, share, and apply the world’s best communication practices. IABC has set the standard for excellence since founded in 1970. This vibrant association has more than 10,000 members including senior communications executives from global Fortune 500 companies, multi-national communications agencies, leading non-profit institutions and universities. IABC serves the collective disciplines of communication professionals through education offerings, certifications, awards and recognition programs, on-line resources, and Communication World magazine. IABC Maritime Canada is the regional chapter for IABC members in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island.
For more, see www.maritime.iabc.com
About United Way Halifax
United Way Halifax has a long history of making our city a better place to live. We envision our city to be united by compassion, rich in opportunity and free from poverty. Key areas of focus are affordable housing and homelessness, convening groups to reduce citizen isolation, promoting healthy living through physical activity and nutrition, and empowering residents to strengthen their neighbourhoods. In this work we fund a network of community agencies and partner with municipal, provincial, federal, non-profit and private sector organizations.
For more, see www.unitedwayhalifax.ca
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(HALIFAX, NS) December 6, 2016 — Ninety-nine years ago, an outpouring of resiliency, generosity and compassion created as much transformative change throughout the city as the Halifax Explosion itself. Lives were lost, homes and businesses were destroyed and in a matter of minutes families were thrown into poverty. The Halifax Regional Municipality and United Way Halifax will be working together over the next year with the goal of inspiring another outpouring of compassion, another demonstration of Haligonians’ great resiliency and another turning point for this city.
“Unimaginable devastation and tragedy is where the story of the Halifax explosion begins, but that is not where it ends,” says Sara Napier, President and CEO of United Way Halifax. “Neighbours mobilized to take care of one another in the days, weeks and months that followed and Haligonians’ collective response was remarkable. It was out of those compassionate relief efforts that United Way Halifax was born.”
A Halifax Relief Committee was formed with the purpose of uniting civic leaders to provide food, medicine, housing and transportation for the injured and homeless. Initial contributions included over a million dollars of income support for families in need and inspired a number of company gifts. In 1920, President of the Halifax Board of Trade, A. H. Whitman, suggested this spirit of generosity continue through a Community Chest fund which evolved into United Way Halifax in 1925.
Even though the rebuilding efforts were successful and the city had advanced in many ways, some of the critical social issues that required an urgent response 99 years ago still remain. HRM and United Way Halifax want to change that.
Plans are already underway for commemorating next year’s centennial anniversary of the Halifax Explosion in ways that will invite individuals, families and businesses to come together through philanthropy and volunteerism once again.
“I have always believed that building a great city requires many hearts and hands working together,” says Mayor Mike Savage. “The issues of homelessness, poverty, food insecurity and isolation demands a response much like the one that was set in motion 99 years ago. I look forward to working with the United Way, my Council colleagues and residents to unite our community in compassion.”
Although details of this partnership and campaign are still underway, the city and United Way Halifax are excited to explore ways they can work together to reignite and honour Halifax’s historical demonstration of resiliency, generosity and compassion.
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(HALIFAX, NS) April 7, 2016 — United Way Halifax hosted a breakfast for 600 supporters, volunteers and donors at the Cunard Centre this morning. The event paid tribute to the people and organizations supporting the community through support to United Way.
Sara Napier, President and CEO, spoke about United Way and the vision of a city united by compassion, rich in opportunity and free of poverty. She strengthened her personal commitment saying, “I pledge to you that United Way Halifax will be resilient, brave, collaborative, innovative and kind on the path ahead. We are excited and ready to work with all of you to move the needle on the critical issues of our city.” The critical issues Napier identified include poverty, availability of affordable housing, homelessness, senior isolation and food insecurity.
Napier released a compilation of videos featuring supporters all expressing their vision for our city.
East Preston Hip hop artist, Maje, performed his newest release, “Smile.” Halifax Poet Laureate, Rebecca Thomas, mixed politics and poetry in a powerful commentary about aboriginal experience. Mayor Mike Savage championed the numerous partnerships the city enjoys with United Way with specific mention of the Housing and Homelessness Partnership and the Mobile Food bus to be launched in May.
2015 Campaign Co-Chairs Nancy Tower and Chief Jean Michel Blais spoke about their commitment to our community and thanked all of the volunteers and donors helping to raise more than $5.8 million to alleviate poverty and make healthy active living an easy choice for all.
United Way Halifax was founded in 1925 and has been providing hope and support to community organizations since that time. United Way is dedicated to dramatically strengthening the social fabric of our city as a funder, partner, researcher, convener and advocate.
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(HALIFAX, NS) March 14, 2016 — After the latest funding approval, United Way Halifax board of directors is pleased to announce that 78 programs delivered by 51 different funded agencies will be supported through the next year.
“All of this is possible because of our generous donors. They believe it’s important that we live in a city, rich in opportunities, free of poverty and united by compassion for others,” said Sara Napier, President and CEO, United Way Halifax. “We are grateful to our donors and proud of the amazing community change we fund.”
One of the funded organizations is located in Dartmouth North. The Dartmouth Family Centre is increasing its support to the community with the opening of the Community Food Centre. Roxanne Manning, Executive Director of the Centre shared her enthusiasm for United Way support saying, “We are pleased to continue our partnership with United Way. As a community hub, we recognize the importance of good food in bringing residents together to address the issues that affect them. Funding from United Way has supported Dartmouth Family Centre to build on our work in the community with the introduction of a community food centre where healthy food is the norm. Residents have opportunities to grow, cook, share and advocate for good food in a welcoming community space.”
Another agency offers programs all across our city. Kate Shewan from The Youth Project helps design programs that make it easier for LGBTQ youth to find safe and supportive spaces where they can talk about their issues and challenges. Kate values funding partners and adds, “For many youth, getting downtown to access programming is difficult. With the support of United Way, and in partnership with Halifax Public Libraries, our Connect the Dots program offers LGBTQ youth the opportunity to access services within their own community. These monthly groups allow youth to build social connections, discuss issues with their peers and have fun in a supportive, facilitated environment. We are excited to have recently expanded to Musquodoboit Harbour, in addition to our existing groups in Sackville, Spryfield and Dartmouth.”
The YWCA is a unique and longstanding relationship that United Way has helped to foster as we tackle important issues together. Miia Suokonautio, Executive Director of the YWCA calls it a valuable relationship and declares, “this partnership allows the YWCA to be more effective in meeting our community’s needs.” United Way supports a program that provides housing support, parenting skills, and employment readiness for single mothers determined to raise their children and take advantage of opportunities to succeed.
Dedicated and diverse community volunteers are recruited to participate in the funding approval process. During the fall of each year they review applications, visit agency locations, interview agency staff and volunteers and meet participants to gain a thorough understanding of the program and its outcomes. Following this rigorous and detailed evaluation over the fall, recommendations for funding are submitted to United Way’s Board of Directors early in the new year.
United Way Halifax envisions our city, united in compassion, rich in opportunity and free from poverty. In addition to being a proud funder of community agencies, we are partnering with municipal, provincial, federal, nonprofit and private sector organizations focused on affordable housing and homelessness, convening groups to reduce citizen isolation, promoting healthy living through physical activity and nutrition and empowering residents to strengthen their neighbourhoods. Founded in 1925, United Way Halifax has a long history of making this city a better place to live.
In the fall of 2015 United Way volunteers participated in an amazing day at Halifax Connects. We are proud to support the video production of stories from the day. Talented videographer Jeff Miller captured participants in the video booth where they shared great stories of how the services on the day impact their lives. Watch the video below:
United Way Halifax is pleased to welcome several refugee families to our community. We are part of a cross-sector working group to identify what we can all contribute.
If you would like to offer support, you can contact 211 Nova Scotia. Dial 211 or email with your details.
Sara Napier is the new President and CEO of United Way Halifax. Her commitment and dedication to community is undeniable and her passion for making an impact on the lives of others has been evident throughout her 20 year career.
"I believe Halifax can be the best city in Canada. To achieve this vision it's equally important to continue on the path of economic growth and dramatically strengthen the social fabric of our city. I'm honoured to have had the opportunity to work with the Board, staff, volunteers and all of our supporters to ensure United Way Halifax is a funder, partner, compassionate voice and a champion of positive community change."
United Way Halifax welcomes your support of our 2015 campaign. Join us on this exciting path forward for our city.