In the community

Hundreds of thousands of people, every year, are helped by United Way Toronto. These are just a few of the real stories that illustrate how the impact of your donation to United Way, strengthens lives and builds stronger neighbourhoods across the city.

Scarborough neighbours come together

It takes a village to raise hope

"The program works well because the residents themselves decide what they need... Ultimately, it introduces new Canadians to the democratic process."

Neighbourhood change in action in Scarborough Village

artist painting

Drawing their own conclusions

"Art gives people—even those who are non-verbal—an outlet for expression without labeling them as disabled."

United Way agency helps intellectually disabled earn living through art

Lotherton resident, Hui Geng

A better place to live

"It's important to do something for your neighbourhood. Sometimes it's hard work, but it's all worth it because it makes it a better place to live."

Previously isolated residents are connecting thanks to the Lotherton-Caledonia Action for Neighbourhood Change.

Community event

At its heart, community finds a hub

"By bringing people together and connecting them to services they themselves identified as a need, we believe the hubs will build individual strength and empowerment, creating a sense of belonging and ownership in the community."

Read about one resident who decided to stay in her community when she learned that a Hub was coming to Rexdale.

Lotherton resident enjoys summer camp

A summer to remember in Lawrence Heights

The children aged six to 12, many from newcomer families, would have been left without opportunities to engage in healthy, constructive activities once their schools closed for the summer.

Camp gives kids a chance at discovery and opportunity


Empowering youth to improve their neighbourhood

"Service needs are very high in the community. The most marginalized are young people, who don't have a political voice. We're working to empower them to be socially engaged in their community."

Young people are seeking a safe place from the street, where there's crime and violence.

Deejays start new business for former foster care kids.

Putting a new spin on career training

"It provides us with the opportunity to do something positive in the community, to get recognized and to get paid."

Deejay business creates training and employment opportunities for former foster care kids.

Edie and her mother

You gave me back my mother

"I couldn’t understand why she wasn’t strong enough to defend herself — strong enough to defend her own children. But watching her gather the strength and courage she needed to escape the abuse and start a new life helped me understand the woman she truly is."

One woman recalls how United Way helped her family.

Violence prevention program at East Metro Youth Services

Youth lead the way in preventing violence

"I’ve met kids who were living on the street when they came to the program, and now they’re in school and getting back on their feet."

East Metro Youth Services program has big impact in the community

Scarborough Village empowered

"I want to participate in many activities so that I can have knowledge about our different needs and help us get strong and prompt results."

Read about the changes two years after Action for Neighbourhood Change came to town.

Youth leaders in Thorncliffe provide hang-out for teens

"The programs at the Youth Centre provide a safe and secure environment where young people can get to know one another and build relationships."

Youth Centre a safe haven for local teen.

Scarborough boys playing cricket

The little neighbourhood that could

Now kids from diverse backgrounds—Pakistani, Bangladeshi, Indian, Afghani, West Indian—come together to play a sport that not only has cultural resonance for them but also teaches skills such as teamwork, discipline and leadership.

How a simple game of cricket is creating positive change in Scarborough

Adwoa Buahene: United Way volunteer

'The world is not just about you'

Adwoa believes she makes a direct difference on both the individual and community levels and, as an United Way volunteer, she feels her opinions are taken into account and she has a sense she is valuable.

Allocations volunteer Adwoa Buahene says that it is a win-win situation.

Catharine Fennell: United Way volunteer

Dishing out charity cash a challenge

"When I meet with agencies and see first-hand the great work they’re doing and how much impact they have on the community — sometimes it reduces me to tears."

Catharine Fennell's position as allocations volunteer with the United Way can in many ways be harder than running her own successful company.

Tajesh Adhihetty: UW volunteer

Childhood reflections

"I became involved with United Way because I love the way it helps small organizations that would not have the ability to raise sufficient funds on their own."

United Way was there for lawyer TJ (Tajesh) Adhihetty at a young age.

Bell Canada employees volunteering together

Corporate Voluntarism Scores a Win-Win

"We all work in different areas so it's a great way to tie in what each of us is doing. Even for people that work together day to day, the experience was a great way to get to know each other from a different perspective. It energizes you and injects creativity."

Read how a team of Bell Canada employees got as much out of volunteering as they gave back.

Zaid Majoo: UW volunteer

Drawing on his own newcomer experiences to help youth

"It was hard sometimes, we had some challenges, like a lot of people new to this country. Our family used different services to help us along. Now people are coming (to this youth centre) and I'm helping them."

Recent Ryerson grad Zaid Majoo gives back to the youth in his community.

Alnasir Samji: UW volunteer

You have to want to make a difference

"I get more and more involved with the United Way because it is improving the lives of others in a non-denominational manner."

Alnasir Samji has been making a difference at United Way for over eight years.

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