Stepping up for each other

The #LoveLove Letter, United Way Elgin Middlesex

local news with impact

Kelly Ziegner, President & CEO United Way Elgin Middlesex

The last time I disco’d was … well, let’s say I put away those dancing shoes a long time ago. Until last week, that is, when I joined hundreds of new and old friends in a disco edition of TD StairClimb for United Way.

Our Super Trouper United Way squad, with dozens of other dazzlingly dressed teams, enthusiastically stepped up and boogied down the stairs at Bud Gardens Nov. 2. Check out this story and photo gallery to find yourself or your friends and colleagues in action!

Together we raised more than $100,000 and cracked the $3M mark in cumulative StairClimb fundraising. Together we showed being #United is about stepping up for each other.

That’s crucial, as the most vulnerable in our community struggle with inflation, food prices and housing instability.

Like you, we’re troubled that one in four children in this region lives in a household below the poverty line. And, like you, we’re convinced that collective, strategic, local investments achieve more good, more often.

That’s what we do at United Way.

To say we invest in 52 programs and services at 40 local agencies and collaborate with dozens of partners at a score of policy and advocacy tables – yes, that quantifies some of the work we do as the region’s largest non-government funder of social services.

But the impact of that work takes place every day for people on the margins. Thanks to your support, more folks now have food on the table, after-school programs with homework help, a place to call home and supports to give them a fair shot at a good life.

They are adults like Aaron, who moved from homelessness to housing; kids who find belonging and learn leadership at summer camp; and parents like Lisa, who come for help and then share their expertise with others.

These are stories of helping move from poverty to possibility.

United Way couldn’t do that without supporters like you.

We know it’s a big task. We know we can’t do it alone. We’re also convinced that, together, we are making a difference.

When the work seems overwhelming, people like Margaret Wills, board chair of Glen Cairn Community Resource Centre, buoy me. At a recent United Way event, Margaret said, “I’m hopeful. I see a lot of people saying, ‘I can’t do everything and I can’t solve all of this – but I can be part of the solution.’

Thank you for being part of the solution. We’re grateful for your continued support and advocacy.

With gratitude,



Kelly Ziegner
President & CEO, United Way Elgin Middlesex

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Accountability matters: United Way Elgin Middlesex is transparent in all we do. Full, independently audited financial information is available on our website or by visiting Canada Revenue Agency online.

Meet our neighbours! Aaron needed a fresh start after months of couch-surfing and homelessness. Lisa wanted to share her cooking skills with a community that had helped her. Although they’ve never met, Aaron and Lisa have something in common: the support of United Way-funded programs aimed at reducing and preventing poverty. Read and hear their stories.

Virtual-tour spots still available. Get an insider’s look at the impact of your gift and meet some of the folks who help and receive help. Reserve your (free!) spot today for this 30-minute, online, interactive virtual tour on Nov. 22 or Dec. 6.

Milestone donors boost strategic impact. We were thrilled recently to honour 67 households of donors who have supported United Way for 30 years or more. What a privilege to share with community partners the impact of their commitment!! 

211 is here for you –– If you need help for you or a loved one, contact 211 to reach a Navigator who can connect you to information, programs and services close to home. It’s free, confidential and available around the clock in more than 150 languages by phone, live chat and email.