Did you know that Greater Toronto is the child poverty, housing unaffordability and income inequality capital of Canada? Far too many people across our region are falling behind because of postal code or circumstance—but we’re working to change that. With the support of our donors—people just like you—we’re investing $94 million in communities across Peel, Toronto and York Region in 2019 to tackle local poverty and related #UNIGNORABLE issues including homelessness, hunger and social isolation.
Here are six things our donors and supporters made possible in 2018-19 thanks to their local love.
After our merger with United Way of Peel Region, we’ve now completed our first year as United Way Greater Toronto, working with communities across Peel, Toronto and York Region. With knowledge and experience from our work across communities, we’re bringing the greatest of our successes and adapting them to respond to issues in a local way. From homelessness prevention, to workplace development for the next generation, to new economic opportunities in neighbourhoods often left behind, we’re putting your support— your local love—into action.
We launched the largest United Way fundraising campaign in the world. Throughout the campaign, more than 400,000 supported United Way by engaging and raising funds in their own unique ways, and stepped up by joining United Way’s signature annual events: the UP CN Tower Climb and Scotiabank Rat Race. The result? A record $110.3 million raised to improve the lives of many across our region.
Solutions to the challenges that face our community won’t come from one source; it’s an all-in effort requiring the collective talent and commitment of many, including supporters like you. That’s why we bring our thought leadership and expertise to a host of tables, boosting and leveraging the bench strength of numerous networks, committees and partnerships to map out the path to real and lasting change. The CivicAction Board, the provincial Council for Youth Prosperity, Toronto’s Newcomer Leadership Table, Healthy City Stewardship Committee in Peel, Toronto Community Benefits Network and the Community Data Consortium in York Region—these are just a few.
Thanks to our corporate partners, we’re tackling poverty and the complex, interrelated issues—including unemployment and social isolation—that make it extremely difficult to break the cycle. An example? Scotiabank’s record-setting, five-year, $15-million commitment will help ensure that the future for some of the GTA’s most vulnerable children and youth looks brighter. The historic investment will help a network of community agencies across Peel, Toronto and York Region fuel real progress in young people’s lives. Each year, this gift will connect 245,000 young people and their families to the services and programs they need to thrive—opportunities like after-school programs, summer camps, sports and recreation, and parenting supports.
Civic engagement is an essential ingredient in creating strong public policy that truly meets people’s needs. That’s the simple premise of Ontario for All, a 100-strong collective of community organizations. Convened by United Way in advance of last spring’s provincial election, the alliance issued a call to action, putting poverty on the agenda and advocating for progress on #UNIGNORABLE issues like homelessness and unemployment.
Local issues can be easy to ignore. Thanks to your support, we created something #UNIGNORABLE to help draw attention to issues, including poverty, hunger, homelessness and domestic violence. Issues that rob so many of opportunities. Designed with leading industry experts, a world-renowned artist and other talented collaborators, our national #UNIGNORABLE campaign—our boldest awareness campaign to date—turned heads and got people talking. In fact, our installation at Nuit Blanche—an all-night, city-wide celebration of contemporary art—was the most-visited in the event’s history. It helped us draw attention to issues we need to tackle together as a community. And it struck a chord: it won several prestigious awards and racked up 153 million impressions in the GTA alone, demonstrating the incredible power of art for social change.