Learn how our Community Response Fund is fighting the impacts of COVID-19.
By the numbers:
Focusing on the needs of our community
For decades, United Way Centraide North East Ontario has been a part of the social fabric that connects our community.
We work to understand and respond to our community’s most critical needs and target your investments where they will show the greatest results.
How We Do It
We look at the big picture, bring passionate people together, invest for maximum impact and speak up for what’s right.
We research and work with others to understand community needs and plan for the future.
We partner with donors, social service agencies, labour, government, small businesses, corporations, educational institutions and volunteers to have even greater reach within our communities. We also engage in unique opportunities like WOLVES United - United FIVE, Imagine Playground Revitalization Project, Home Bonus Program and 211.
We are committed to raising necessary funds that support local, targeted programs that are addressing needs in our community.
Our investments are targeted to get results.
Our Focus Areas
Poverty to Possibility
For many people in our community, poverty is a daily and difficult struggle. It forces people to make impossible decisions like paying rent or putting food on the table. The complexity of poverty has many contributing factors. Its social and economic issues impact entire communities and everyone who lives in them.Learn More
Building Strong Communities
A community is only as strong as its most vulnerable citizens. On far too many occasions, residents find difficulty in accessing essential services they need to succeed. These barriers are often amplified for seniors, people living with disabilities and newcomers, leading to challenges like social exclusion and mental illness.Learn More
Helping Kids Be All That Kids Can Be
Children and youth are one of our community’s greatest assets. The reality is, far too many young people are struggling. Poverty, food insecurity, mental illness, safe places and spaces, and a lack of early years supports can have life-long effects including their ability to finish high school. United Way sees the potential in our youngest citizens and that youth engagement and targeted community supports are instrumental in life-long success.Learn More
Stories of Change
Emily struggled at school, but a United Way program helped her get on track
“When I was in grade 11, I had a big falling-out with my family and ended up moving out. After I left my family home, I felt really overwhelmed by having to manage school and life. Just getting to school was a challenge on its own, even without the homework. I was falling behind.
Then I connected with a United Way high school completion program and the staff really motivated me to want to be there. They were people I needed to be accountable to.
I want to be a role model for my two younger brothers. I want to give them hope and make them believe that, even if things seem a little challenging now, they can graduate. With the help of people who can give them a safe space to work on their homework and the guidance that they need to understand their schoolwork, they can follow their dreams. They can graduate and go as far as they want to.
And I want young women to understand that, as scary as life may be and as many obstacles as we face, if they really believe they can succeed and they have the resources around them to make success possible, there’s no way they’re going to fail.
I’ve had to take a complete detour, and I’ve had to do a lot of things differently in order to get to where I want to be. It’s been very challenging, but it’s definitely been worth it.” — Emily
Meet Nadine & Chase
When I learned that my daughter, Nadine, was reading at a pre-K level in grade 2, it felt like a punch to the gut. I’m a single mother of four kids and had just entered university. I was so busy; I didn’t realize she was floating under the radar. Once I knew, though, my focus became enhancing all my kids’ learning abilities.
At first, I thought a literacy camp would just give Nadine extra practice, but right away, she showed so much improvement. She came home every day with stories about reading books with the volunteers, and I thought, ‘I want my daughter to have this much excitement reading with her mom.’ Within the first week, I was getting pamphlets on how to make reading fun and engaging for parents, too. I was glad to get them—they’ll help me in the future with my two younger children.
My son Chase wasn’t as under the radar as Nadine was, but he was reading at a lower level. So, when they were both invited to the camp the following summer, I knew it was the best choice. The camp gave him so much confidence. Chase deals with ADHD, but the volunteers didn’t discourage him for learning at a slower pace—they were patient with him.
Now that I’m a literacy teacher myself, I understand that reading is confidence. That’s why I push for these programs. Chase and Nadine are now seven and 10; they’re both reading the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series, and they talk about what’s going to happen next. When I was first told Nadine was three grades behind in her reading level, I would never have guessed that she and Chase would be reading chapter books together two years later.”
The Gift of Time
“I have three grandchildren that live with me, and I knew I couldn’t do it alone. I was dealing with behavioural, emotional and social issues with all three. Within the first 10 seconds of reaching out for support, I knew I made the right call. The team worked very hard to find perfect matches for Robert, Cloey and Emma with ‘Bigs’ that would be suitable for their needs.
Emma was matched with Amanda; they are both soft-spoken, enjoy being pampered, and love sports. When we asked Emma how she felt about having a ‘Big,’ she said she didn’t understand how a stranger would want to be her friend. Cloey was matched with Kate; they are both adventurous, outgoing, and vegetarian. Robert was matched with Greg; they both love science, building things, and technology.
With the support and guidance of their mentors, these children know that they can dream big. They are more confident, stable, and happy. They go to summer camp every year for a week; they’ve all attended group sessions where they worked on self-esteem, anxiety, and the ability to self regulate. They also skate, go to hockey games, the movies, rock climbing, and so much more.”