Why I Help

Francesca Shaw & Godney Sibay

Women Inspiring Women

“We’ve evolved into strategic philanthropists, but without United Way, we wouldn’t have experienced the success we have.”

While Francesca Shaw started volunteering with United Way when she first entered the workforce 30 years ago, Godyne Sibay is a more recent recruit.

Chantel Guthrie

Coming Full Circle

“I’ve been involved in United Way in a lot of different ways, and it’s been life changing”

Indeed in her 25 years, Chantel’s life has intersected with United Way repeatedly and significantly. Growing up in a single-parent household, she benefited from social services funded through the generosity of United Way supporters.

Philip Wong

Out of the Blue

“I’d donated to United Way but was always curious about how they operate,”

Philip Wong has always shown a passion for people and commitment to community. From fundraising for a native reserve in crisis during his university days to his decision to join Toronto Police Services five years ago, the young officer has been willing to jump in, ready to serve.


A solid community investment

“Preparing youth, especially those who might lack money and learning resources, for their adult years struck a particular chord.”

Thomas Jasiolek, a financial advisor with TD Canada Trust, teaches banking basics to youth in the city’s Jane-Finch neighbourhood—helping them build a solid foundation for the future.


Building a better financial future

“I’ve been fortunate in life. I see that as an opportunity—and a responsibility—to make the world better.”

How one U of T student is helping Torontonians realize a stronger financial future through United Way’s innovative financial-literacy program.

Shameed Ali

Coming together to give back

“Canada’s banks continue to go above and beyond in their efforts to help build a stronger city.”

Employees from BMO, CIBC, RBC, Scotiabank, and TD volunteered their time and skills to mentor youth at the first-ever Financial Sector Career Inspiration Day held at United Way’s Rexdale Hub.

Shameed Ali

Leading the financial way

“It’s such a wonderful feeling. I have the expertise and I give my time because I believe I am making a difference. It’s very rewarding”

As a specialized human resources analyst at TD Bank Group, Shameed leads Financial Literacy workshops helping teach people living on low incomes how to make informed financial decisions.

Vani Shankar

Vani Shankar: A Passion for Helping Others

“Everything counts. Sometimes it’s not the most glamorous job — dropping off supplies, counting coins. But to me, I get satisfaction out of it, because that little work that you do, it makes a difference in the community.”

Having taken part in several United Way workplace campaigns at RBC and with a long track record of volunteering in the community, Vani Shankar was eager to find new ways to give back. So she decided to join United Way Toronto as a Sponsored Employee, providing support during our 2011 Fundraising Campaign

Sherry Gonsalves

Sherry Gonsalves: Strengthening a Sense of Community Spirit

“It’s all about going out there and seeing how your donations big and small are making a difference and letting people know about that.”

An employee at the Ontario Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing, Sherry Gonsalves has been involved with United Way Toronto for over a decade. Joining our team as a Sponsored Employee allowed her to support the cause further during our 2011 Fundraising Campaign.

Quan Do

Quan Do: From Helping Build Prototypes to Helping Build Communities

“By having the opportunity to go to agencies and to hear about what they do, I’ve learned a lot more about what United Way is all about, how it works with the agency, why the agency exists and what kinds of services it offers the community”

An engineer by training, Quan Do builds new products and prototypes for Celestica. But as one of close to 40 sponsored employees, seconded from a variety of companies and organizations in support of United Way campaigns across Toronto, he got an opportunity to develop his people skills.

CITY Leaders

Training a new kind of leader

“It opened me up to the concept of budgets and management and networking and I used those skills right away as soon as I started the job.”

CITY Leadership program equipped Lekan Olawoye of Rexdale with the critical skills to lead a community agency.

Northern Secondary School

1,776 steps. Leg burn. Why not?

“You know that you’re really impacting the lives of people in Toronto and giving back to a community and a city that you love.”

Students at Northern Secondary school stepped up for our community in the 2011 Enbridge CN Tower Climb for United Way.

Faisal Saab

Meet the people who make it work

“I am driven now by the potential leadership role United Way can play in eradicating some of the serious issues in our community.”

United Way volunteers are everyday Greater Toronto Area citizens. Here are just six of them, what they do, and why they do it.

Victor Beausoleil

Helping youth get back on track

“I found an organization that would actually help me be above that — that past.”

Need a transit token? A lift to a job interview? Redemption Reintegration Services’ young staff helps young people who’ve been in trouble turn their energies positive.

Albert Koke

A new ride for United Way Toronto

“I wanted to raise the bar to hopefully inspire more people to support the ride. If we don’t make the goal of $30,000 I won’t be disappointed. Any amount that can be raised for United Way Toronto is worth it.”

Cyclist Albert Koke conquered Lake Ontario’s circumference in three days’ time last year—this year, he’s gone even further for the cause by taking on Lake Erie. Read his inspiring story.

Evelyn Rabkin-Yuditsky

Keeping seniors active for over 20 years

"It's important for seniors to have their own lives too"

United Way Toronto Speakers Bureau volunteer, Evelyn Rabkin-Yuditsky, proudly wears her 20 year recognition pin. She found her niche at Bernard Betel Centre, and helps other seniors stay active.

Bill Downe

Making a delicious difference

"It's a great way to get into the community and help... United Way does great work in so many different areas in our community, whether it's with teens at risk, seniors or new immigrants."

Over 30 Kraft Canada employees, along with president Dino Bianco, rolled up their sleeves to make a difference in their city in the fall Day of Caring®.

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