News Releases

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

(HALIFAX, NS) June 19th, 2017 — Today, United Way Halifax is hosting the Bhayana Family Foundation Awards to celebrate the unsung heroes of social change in our community. The awards recognize extraordinary contributions made by front-line staff at United Way funded partners in cities across the country and 2017 marks the first year the awards will be given out in Halifax.

The following recipients will be awarded $1,000 each, to be used in a way that will better equip them to do their important work. The event is taking place at the Halifax Central Library at 12:30 p.m.

• Claudette Colley – East Preston Day Care and Family Resource Centre
• Justin Eweka – The Club Inclusion
• Doug MacDonald – Ward 5
• Paul MacMillan - Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Halifax
• Justin McGarragh – The Club Inclusion
• Lillian Munroe – Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Halifax
• Sandra Weagle – The Freedom Foundation

The awards are made possible by a generous donation from the Bhayana Family Foundation. As a former member of United Way Toronto’s Board of Trustees, Raksha Bhayana is a dedicated community volunteer and a passionate champion for the recognition of those who make a difference in our community. The Bhayana Family Foundation awards have been made available in cities across Canada – Vancouver, Calgary, Mississauga, Toronto and now Halifax.

Bhayana says front line worker’s contributions to our economy, society and its well-being often go unrecognized, “There are hundreds of social sector staff who selflessly dedicate themselves to helping others and improving quality of life across this region.” Adding, “As a former front line therapist, I have witnessed the ingenuity and dedication of front line workers day in and day out. They are an inspiration.”

"We're truly grateful for the passion and generosity the Bhayana Family Foundation brings to the social sector," says Sara Napier, President and CEO United Way Halifax. "We work with amazing agencies and community partners and these awards are a wonderful way for us to shine a light on individuals who are changing lives in our city," she adds.

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 include 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. In 2016, United Way Halifax invested over $5 million in community. This investment includes funding to 48 agency partners, neighbourhood development, 211, the mobile food market, our collective work on issues of housing and homelessness, as well as distributing donor designated gifts to worthwhile charities in our community.

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Media Contact:
Sarah Gallant
Marketing & Communications Officer, United Way Halifax
(902) 461-3076
(902) 240-4081 (c)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

(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.

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Media Contacts:

Sarah Gallant
Marketing & Communications Officer, United Way Halifax
(902) 461-3076 (o)
(902) 240-4081 (c)

Shaune MacKinlay
Chief of Staff, Office of Mayor Mike Savage
(902) 490-6531

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

(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.

Volunteers make these events possible. IABC is still looking for seasoned communicators to volunteer a few hours of their time. Email us at to participate.

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


For more information, please contact:
Sarah Dawson
President, IABC Maritime Canada
Tel: 902-471-4497
Email:

Sarah Gallant
Marketing & Communications Officer, United Way Halifax
Tel: 902-461-3076
Email:

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

(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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Media Contact:
Sarah Gallant
Marketing & Communications Officer, United Way Halifax

(902) 461-3076

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

(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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Media Contact:
Amanda MacDonald
Marketing & Communications Officer, United Way Halifax

902-461-3082