12 Days of Giving - Day 6

On the sixth day of giving, my law firm gave to me,
Light for The Way.
United Way Centraide

United Way Centraide

On our sixth day of giving, United way Centraide has been chosen, and we are very pleased to be supporting them.

A characteristic of the United Way that makes it unique and effective, is that it is a nationally federated network of over 80 local offices. Each office is registered as its own non-profit organization with it’s own Board of Directors made up of local volunteers. This allows the United Way Movement to receive direction from a national leadership group as well as membership support, while still being able to tailor and offer its services to more than 5,000 communities across Canada.

The ability of the United Way Centraide to connect with communities and understand the specific needs of each local population allows for programs to be developed and customized to achieve maximum impact. At the heart of it all are three key areas of focus which set the framework for the organizations’ strategies:


On any given day, 35,000 Canadians are homeless, 1 in 6 children live in a household that struggles to put food on the table, and 11% of working-age Indigenous population are unemployed.1 The United Way is working to help people breakout of or avoid the poverty cycle by investing in the following areas:

  • Housing Stability, such as Housing First programs, emergency shelters, and advocating for affordable housing.2
  • Food Security, from community gardens to school breakfast programs and food banks.3
  • Employment and Financial Stability, such as job skills training, continuing education opportunites, and financial literacy programs.4
To date, United Way Centraide has been able to maintain an annual average of 1,099 poverty-based programs, $14.3 million donated to food programs, $15.7 million invested in employment and financial education initiatives, and $24.6 million dedicated for improving access to safe and affordable housing.5


Even in a first-world country like Canada, 1 in 4 children or not school-ready when they enter the first grade, 30% of adolescents have experienced physical bullying, and it has been reported that 30% of youth struggle with mental health or substance abuse issues.6 Children are our future, so the United Way is finding ways to provde them with opportunities to reach their full potential:

  • Learning Engagement, such as after-school programs, help with homework and tutoring, and resources for parents to help prep their kids for kindergarten.7
  • Community and Social Involvement, from group recreation programs, to mentoring situations, to team work and leadership opportunities.8
  • Emotional and Physical Health, such as programs that help build self-esteem, access to counselling, and summer camps that promote physical activity.9
To date, United Way Centraide has been able to maintain an annual average of 2,188 kid-based programs, $14.5 million aimed at kids' in-school success, $19.3 million invested in developing youth leadership, and $40.4 million dedicated to emotional and physical health in children.10


A community is only as stong as its people, and people are strenghtened by the community that surrounds them. Today, 1 in 5 Canadian residents were born outside of the country, 3 million adults are considered as having a physical or mental disability, and 2.1 billion volunteer hours are contributed by Canadians each year.11 The United Way actively works to build inclusive and strong neighbourhoods in the following areas:

  • Access to Support, such as expansion of the 211 call line and making it eaier to find and connect to local services.12
  • Neighbourhood Involvement, from promoting volunteerism, to including community members in decision-making processes, and encouraging inclusion.13
  • Personal Safety, such as addiction counselling, mental health awareness and support, and providing seniors with the skills needed to live independently.14
To date, United Way Centraide has been able to maintain an annual average of 3,016 community-based programs, $20.7 million devoted to help seniors, $21 million invested in caring for people living with disabilities, and $37.2 million dedicated to mental health and crisis support.15

Our day 6 charity has been recommended by one of our real estate clerks, Courtney Holland, as the United Way Centraide’s activities and services hold special meaning for her. She has volunteered for the United Way in the past and has witnessed first-hand how local organizations connect with people within their communities and tailor their programming. She has also seen the good that comes from those programs and the strength that is built when assistance is passed from one person to another. As each local organization is operated independently, Courtney has asked that our donation be directed towards the United Way’s Halton and Hamilton branch.

For more information or to make a donation, please see below.