What does United Way do? Learn how we’re driving positive impact and lasting change in local communities across BC.
In times of crisis, we’re here to lend a hand
Utilizing our extensive network of volunteers, partners, donors, and supporting agencies, we have organized strategic, rapid responses for the substantial challenges that affect our communities. United, we are stronger.
During the wildfires, United Ways across BC raised more than $170,000 to support the recovery and rebuilding of the communities most affected. Donations allowed us to provide rapid-response support, funding, and supplies to communities, and establish long-term aid.
When BC communities were impacted by flooding, United Way responded by volunteering on the ground, convening those who were responding, facilitating the donations of goods and services, and raising dollars to address important social needs: shelter, food assistance, trauma and mental health supports, and the rebuilding of social infrastructure.
Learn how we are impacting communities with emergency relief and long-term recovery.
Whether through natural disasters or war, we are seeing an increased and compounding number people displaced from their homes. Welcoming displaced Ukrainians into BC and helping them settle into new and unfamiliar surroundings while processing their trauma is another way we support and strengthen our communities.
Universally we found ourselves faced with an unprecedented pandemic. Our most vulnerable neighbours were especially impacted by shutdowns and restrictions. United Way supported its network in new and caring ways, ensuring everyone in our communities could get the help they needed.
Everyone has the right to food, shelter, employment, and safety
We support people at the neighbourhood and community levels to help them move from poverty to possibility while working with businesses to create a more just society.
United Way’s Hi Neighbour!
Working with local residents to strengthen vital connections so communities are stronger, safer, and more inclusive and resilient.
The Period Promise campaign is a local response to a global issue. We can reduce the isolation created by period poverty in our own neighbourhoods. Learn how you can take action in your community and help end the stigma around periods.
One in six Canadians live in food-insecure households. For families with children, that number is even higher. Through our Food Security Initiative, United Way is working to address British Columbia’s growing and shifting food needs.
For too many people, poverty is a daily, uphill struggle that forces them to make impossible choices between essentials like putting food on the table or paying the rent. With your support, we help to meet the basic needs of our communities’ most vulnerable people and families.
United Way British Columbia and Thompson Rivers University (TRU) have developed an innovation hub to address community issues. This hub houses a Collaboration Centre and a Change Lab to benefit our region and address the most pressing social issues and realities like poverty, hunger, addiction, mental health, isolation, and homelessness in partnership with all levels of government, the business sector, non-profit and community organizations, university research faculty and students, school districts, health authorities and the greater community.
Active, connected, and engaged
Through collaboration and engagement with the Community-Based Seniors’ Services sector, we’ve developed a service model that is responsive, flexible and strong. This kind of intentional and ongoing community engagement ensures that our programs remain relevant and meaningful – reducing seniors’ isolation and enhancing the quality of life for older British Columbians, their families, friends, caregivers, and allies.
Active, connected, and engaged! These are the keys to health and wellness for everyone, but they become particularly important as we age. Based on these simple essentials, our Healthy Aging initiative has developed and supports a range of programs and activities that enhance older adults’ healthy aging process and enable them to live independently at home for as long as possible.
Better at Home
Better at Home helps seniors with non-medical, day-to-day tasks like grocery shopping and light housekeeping so they can live independently in their own homes. Friendly visits also keep participants socially engaged and connected. The result is an overall increase in quality of life.
Healthy Aging administers the Better at Home program throughout B.C., supporting over 80 non-profit organizations who deliver Better at Home in over 260 communities. This community-based approach ensures that local agencies are responding to local needs.
Every child deserves the chance to achieve their potential
We help kids and youth succeed by supporting local and provincial programs and initiatives in early childhood development, out-of-school time activities, and youth leadership.
Programs for children 6-12 years of age that provide mental and physical wellness, healthy and nutritious food, and developmental support throughout the school year.
School’s Out Summer
At the end of June, many kids lose access to the vital out-of-schooltime supports that they’re used to. This new program gives kids access to free or low-cost quality summer programs that are critical for their emotional and social well-being, academic success, physical health, and overall well-being.
Through paid or volunteer internships, we help youth gain valuable work experience, grow leadership skills, and develop social networks.
Youth Futures Education Fund
By providing low-barrier access to funds, we help create equal educational opportunities for young adults who have been in government care.
Child Safety Initiative
BCAA estimates as many as five percent of children in British Columbia – roughly 23,000 – don’t use an approved child car seat when travelling by car, despite the clear advantages of using one. The unfortunate reality is that some kids go unprotected because their families simply cannot afford the expense of a car seat.
United Way believes that no family should have to put their child’s safety at risk because of limited finances.
Providing leaders with the tools to lead better
We help businesses and non-profits discover their capacity to influence and create social good by connecting leaders with the resources they need to excel at what they do. These programs are designed to help organizations grow with purpose and integrity while being fully supported.
Social Purpose Institute
At the United Way Social Purpose Institute, we offer a structured and supportive environment that will help you incubate, accelerate, and scale social purpose as a way to drive both business growth and your company’s potential for social good.
Public Policy Institute
A leadership training program with innovative small group training and access to a faculty of professionals who have real-life public policy experience. This six-month program is designed to help leaders – from the seniors’ service sector or the broader not-for-profit sector – increase their knowledge of the public policy process and their capacity to influence it.
A program to support leaders to understand and demonstrate the values of justice, equity, diversity and inclusion (JEDI), and lead disruptive change in their organizations.
Free and confidential referrals to resources
211 provides information on a broad range of programs and services that can assist people with:
- basic needs like food and shelter
- mental health and addictions support
- legal and financial assistance,
- support for seniors, newcomers, and much more.
Part of a network of 211 services across North America, 211 British Columbia is supported by the BC Ministry of Health and is accredited by the Alliance of Information and Referral Systems (AIRS).
How to use 211
For help 24/7, 365 days a year, dial or text 2-1-1. Or, search the online directory at bc.211.ca.
Interpretation is available in 150+ languages for people who call: 2-1-1.