Getting help in time is critical for coping with a crisis. Because every day counts, several United Way-funded mental health partners streamlined their intake process. The result: Wait times for subsidized counselling were reduced by 14 days. United Way invests almost $1 million in subsidized mental health counselling every year.

Kids who participate in quality after-school programs are more likely to become successful adults. Youth who meet with a mentor are two times more likely to have high academic achievement and good connections with their peers. United Way invests more than $1 million every year in low-cost/no-cost after-school programs.

United Way invests almost $500,000 in Neighbourhood Resource Centres that give families the tools they need to succeed. A family might come for emergency food supplies and then join a parenting group while their kids attend supervised story time.

United Way invests almost $20,000 in transportation services in Elgin County annually to help rural residents access healthcare, social services and recreation. Participation in these everyday and essential services decreases social isolation and helps rural residents live more independently.

These are just four of the most pressing challenges facing our region. Thanks to donors, volunteers and partner agencies, United Way invests
in long-term solutions that tackle many more. Together, we are building the community we all deserve, one where everyone matters.

We live in a world that equally distributes talent.
But we can’t say the same for opportunity.

That’s why United Way announced a different set of goals this year, all focused
on one impact: To give more people the opportunity to build a better life,
right here at home. This kind of impact isn’t about a line on a thermometer.
It’s about changing lives, one person at a time.


Local issues, homegrown solutions

Lasting change is happening here, in our own backyards, schools, community centres, workplaces and at home. By bringing together donor dollars, volunteers and partner agencies in communities across the region, United Way gives more people the opportunity to live their best life.


United Way Elgin-St. Thomas and United Way London & Middlesex joined forces in 2017 to become United Way Elgin Middlesex. Although we serve a much larger region now, our focus remains local. Offices in London and St. Thomas continue to serve communities in Middlesex and Elgin Counties. And local volunteers continue to make investment decisions that support each county’s highest priority needs. We call it the best of both worlds: regional reach with local impact.


United Way’s Sleepless in our City challenged the perception that homelessness doesn’t exist in rural communities. For one night, local celebrities including MP Karen Vecchio (pictured), slept out in their cars to raise awareness and close to $10,000 for hot meals, emergency shelter and long-term supports at United Way funded programs in Elgin-St. Thomas.


Volunteers are the engine that powers United Way. In 2017-18, more than 2,579 volunteers gave over 24,583 hours to make our community great.


United Way Elgin Middlesex is at the helm of London for All, a community-wide action plan to end poverty in a generation. The need is urgent: Recent census data shows that 24% of our children live in poverty. United Way’s role is to convene and facilitate the work of over 60 organizations and more than 160 volunteers to create long-term solutions and system change. People with lived experience are included as key decision-makers at every level. Wins so far include: 710 additional child care spaces, a new geared-to-income bus pass and establishing a living wage specific to London.


An incredible $70,000 gift from The Tricar Group enabled United Way to create GenNextLevel, a new, multi-year matching grant aimed at inspiring those under 40 to become leadership givers. Along with creating the next generation of leaders, Tricar’s gift will leverage $270,000 to support youth mentoring programs in our community.


On June 8, nearly 500 volunteers ditched their day jobs for a good cause — approved by the boss, of course. United Way’s 19th annual Libro Credit Union Day of Caring® mobilized employees from over 20 workplaces throughout the region to help local agencies with 28 projects.


The Canadian Labour Congress and United Way Centraide Canada share a common vision of prosperous, inclusive, diverse and respectful communities with a wide range of social and public services that are accessible, universal and of the highest quality. 2017 marked 40 years of our proud partnership in Middlesex and Elgin Counties.


Every $1 invested in mentoring at Big Brothers Big Sisters returns $18 to society


Zac Piette is headed to university this fall to study politics, and he couldn’t be more excited. He’s already looking forward to learning about the internal workings of government, getting a part-time job on campus and living on Canada’s beautiful east coast. In short, he’s pumped.

Zac wasn’t always this excited about school. At 12, he moved to a new city, leaving his hometown and friends behind. Starting over was tough.“The big city felt very foreign to me,” Zac says. “It was difficult being new at school and it took a while to make friends. But the friends I did make are still around.”

One of those friends is his Big Brother, Wayne. Not long after moving to London, Zac’s mom connected with Big Brothers Big Sisters. When they got the call for a potential match, Zac was nervous at first.

“I wasn’t very confident back then,” he recalls. “I had no idea what to expect. But when I met Wayne, I knew it was going to be ok.”

Zac and Wayne went on their first outing that day, bonding over fries and a walk around the local park. The pair met weekly for walks, did science experiments (Mentos and diet coke was a hit), and most important, practiced how to do a proper handshake.

The summer of grade 8, Zac was headed to Queens Park to participate in the legislative page program. Wayne coached him on a solid hand shake, the key to making a good first impression. “I’d never shaken hands with anyone. How do you do that?” he remembers. “We spent a good five minutes every visit practicing until I had it down pat.” Zac left Queens Park inspired and has loved politics ever since. “I started taking part in my community and doing all sorts of things,” he says.

Fast-forward to the end of high school. University is still a few months away, but Zac is starting to think about a career in politics. In third year, he hopes to intern at a constituency office somewhere in Canada and gain valuable hands-on experience.“Wayne always pushed me to reach high and not settle,” he says.

“When I look around, I see a lot of things wrong with society and government. I want to be able to make important decisions for the better.”




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Dakota HalfpennyImpact Report 2018