The United Way of Greater Victoria knows that a community needs to be looked at, and looked after, as a whole. That’s why the organization is a great advocate for the integration of social services, allowing the community to help itself in a holistic and future-focused way.
Founded in 1937, the registered charity was conceived as a “community chest” to help fund worthy organizations and projects throughout the city. The first round of funding, totalling more than $63,000, for 23 organizations, supported projects through the Red Cross Society, Children’s Aid Society and others. In 2011, the United Way of Greater Victoria raised $5.9 million, allowing it to support more than 60 community partners. The organization continues to be a strong fundraising force on behalf of its partners, but its approach has evolved to a larger advocacy role.
United Way partners with non-profits, donors, organizations and communities to ensure the most vulnerable citizens have access to the supports they need. The approach is designed to build self-reliance at the individual, family, community and organizational level. The United Way places strong emphasis on helping meet a person’s immediate need for food and housing, while supporting long-term strategies to address chronic issues.
That innovative long-term vision, coupled with a powerful fundraising campaign, has empowered countless people to take control of their lives. With a focus on children, healthy communities, and helping people move forward from poverty, the United Way brings people together through a collaborative approach to change their circumstances.
For the United Way of Greater Victoria’s innovative approach to connecting community to help those most in need, Royal Roads University honours it with the Chancellor’s Community Recognition Award.