The next chapter of our conversation

This is my last post in 2012 and I’m feeling reflective. So many inspiring visions have been shared in this space. I’ve found it insightful and rewarding to read about what people want for Toronto. And I’ve been reminded of the value of an honest and open conversation.

In September, we invited you to tell us about your hopes for our city for a chance to win an iPad. Over the next month, we’ll post the pieces written by contestants that were selected as the best by our three judges: Matt Blackett from Spacing Magazine, Councillor Ana Bailao and Melissa Grelo from CP24. Thank you so much to Matt, Ana and Melissa for their enthusiasm and hard work.

I’m happy to announce that Saeed Selvam is our winner. He wrote about our city’s challenges, but also about its strengths — and ended with everything he feels Toronto could be. In a time when so many people in our city face serious barriers to a healthy, fulfilling life, we must continue to, like Saeed, reflect on the Toronto we want to create today and tomorrow.

Our work is about uniting people around a common vision for our city. That is how we pave the path to making these hopes reality.

Later this week, for example, we’re convening a group of employees from the five major banks — BMO, CIBC, RBC, Scotiabank, and TD — to engage young people in learning about different careers in the financial sector. It’s a unique opportunity for youth to meet and talk with banking professionals in an interactive, one on one environment.

Since 2002 these five organizations have contributed well over a quarter of a billion dollars to make Toronto better. A truly remarkable achievement that has meant investments in community programs and services, infrastructure in priority neighbourhoods, and growing resident leadership across the inner-suburbs. Like so many organizations we work with, these banks are our donors and partners. Their staff offer time, energy and expertise to United Way initiatives all over Toronto.

As this year comes to a close, I’d like to take a moment to acknowledge and thank all of our fantastic bloggers for their insight and leadership. Our sector is full of great thinkers and I feel lucky to work with them every day.

If we can realize even a few of the hopes that have come out of this blog, our city will be stronger. I look forward to the next chapter of our conversation.

1 thought on “The next chapter of our conversation

  1. I can’t even imagine how Toronto would be without United Way. I just wish we had an organization like yours back in Brazil as I am sure people would start to think about all the challenges less-advantaged populations face, especially in times of austerity.

    I think UW deserves a double thank you as, having government cutbacks in mind, it is more essential than ever the support United Way has given to the communities, avoiding the gap between poor and rich growing even larger.

    I wish our government would have the vision I can see in UW’s actions, directions and programs… and we would ready for those ciclical emergencies… and people like me, immigrants, people facing all sorts of challenges, would be able to sleep well… knowing that someone cares!

    All the best, UW!

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