United Way salutes Youth and Programs

United Way
United Way Salutes Programs and Youth

United Way
United Way Salutes Programs and Youth

THUNDER BAY – The United Way saluted local youth and programs. In December 2012 the United Way of Thunder Bay and local high school students announced that $9,305.51 was raised by local youth in the 2012 United Way High School Challenge. The High School Challenge is an excellent way of encouraging young people to get involved in philanthropy, build community awareness and learn new skills. All local high schools were invited to take part in this fall time event in which participating high schools fundraised for the United Way. The 2 schools that raise the most funds per capita were each awarded a dance party sponsored by 91.5 CKPR. 

United Way salutes Youth and Programs

The second component to this event is the Youth 4 Community Program.  Funds raised through the High School Challenge go into this program which provides funding to registered charitable youth organizations. Students from each participating high school formed the United Way Youth Granting Committee in order to allocate the funds from the Youth 4 Community Program. The youth assessed applications submitted by local agencies requesting funding for youth programs.  With guidance from United Way Allocations Committee member Marg Arnone, Director of Community Impact Sandra Albertson and placement student Kellie Block, the youths have made their final decision and received approval from the Board of Directors.

Today we are happy to announce the successful recipients of the Youth 4 Community grants. 2013 United Way Youth Granting Committee Chair Brad Beecken along with fellow committee members David Ek, Jenna Simpson and Ryan Krzystofczyk were on hand to announce the recipients and thank them all for their work which is supporting local youth:

    –      Evergreen a United Neighbourhood received $1,805.51 for its “Evergreen’s House Youth Hub”   

program. Youth from the Simpson/Ogden area have been working with Evergreen a United Neighbourhood to develop a Youth Hub, where young people can help organize, lead and participate in fun and engaging activities like sports, festivals and movie nights.  Presently they have 25 youth assisting with programming that impacts approximately 1000 children and youth over the year. 

 The youth would like to expand their engagement and activities and have asked to have space dedicated to them within the new Evergreen House.  United Way Youth 4 Community funding will help the youth purchase items needed to create a welcoming space for youth to meet and where they will continue to build on their youth engagement plans for the Simpson/Ogden neighbourhood.

This program impacts the youth priority areas of:   youth leadership, youth recreation and hubs, and working with marginalized youth.

–       Roots to Harvest received $5,000 for its “Local Food (Re) Cycling” program that provides meaningful and productive employment, education and mentorship opportunities within the local food system for young people who face barriers to employment.  Each year they engage over one hundred youth into this program.  They work to educate and inspire the youth within our community about small scale agriculture, food security and our local food system. 

United Way Youth 4 Community funding will be used to help expand this program by adding a component that will involve the existing harvest of food from the Roots to Harvest urban site, load the food into bins and then onto bike trailers and deliver the food by bike to predetermined targeted destinations such as: Food deserts or places where the availability of fresh food is rare like the downtown south core, community hubs like transit stations, community centers and local agency office sites as well as well as get more food to existing drop off places like soup kitchens and Shelter House.

This program impacts the youth priority areas of:  Youth involvement, leadership and education. 

 –     Children’s Centre Thunder Bay  received $2,500 for its “The Other 10 %” program which is a free to access, drop in group for youth in Thunder Bay who self-identify as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, Two Spirit, Intersex, Queer and Questioning; hereafter referred to as LGBT.  

United Way Youth 4 Community funding will help the youth who help organize The Other 10% develop their communication tools and enhance their programming.  They hope to establish a better presence in Thunder Bay by developing a website and create a self-published educational series to provide information including the history of LGBT communities, oppression and successes.

This program impacts the youth priority areas of:   Youth Leadership, Education, Anti-racism and discrimination and working with marginalized youth.

Sandra Albertson, United Way’s Director of Community Impact noted that United Way is a community organization that not only funds vital human service programs but also works closely with community partners. The volunteer driven organization address underlying causes to community issues, strengthen the capacity of community networks, and works collaboratively to change and improve the quality of life for all.

The United Way Youth Granting Committee is one way the United Way is engaging young people in Thunder Bay.  They are encouraging young people to get involved in philanthropy, build community awareness and help youth learn new skills.  “We know that young people can create positive change when given the opportunity to take on leadership roles within our community.” said Albertson. “These young people have done a great job and their efforts will result in positive change for many local youth.”

United Way thanked all the local youths who took part in the High School Challenge and those who sat on the Youth Granting Committee.