April 2014 

Vol 6, Issue 4

United Way Connects

On May 31st, Clara Hughes is riding into Red Deer.


As part of Clara's Big Ride for Bell Let's Talk, six-time Olympic medalist Clara Hughes will be pedaling across Canada over 110 days, stopping in 95 communities along the way.  She's doing it all to help end the stigma surrounding mental illness.


United Way supports improving access to mental health initiatives across the lifespan.  Some of our investments are in preventative programs for children and youth like Big Brothers Big Sisters which helps youth to build healthy relationships with family, peers and the community.  To ensure that support is available when issues arise, we have invested in a number of programs that support personal well being, increased self-sufficiency and helps individuals and families build connections in the community.   Mental health matters and we support that!


United Way and a number of other community agencies and volunteers will be at Parkland Mall on May 31 between 4:30 and 6:30pm to cheer Clara on.  There will be a number of fun activities and snacks for the whole family.   On June 1st, there will be a free breakfast for youth (12+) and Clara will speak about her experiences.  If you would like to RSVP for the breakfast or help out on the 31st, please e-mail Jennifer@caunitedway.ca.


Otherwise, we hope to see you on the 31st!  For more information click Clara's Big Ride Poster. 


thecostsofpovertyinalbertaThe Costs of Poverty in Alberta

Poverty costs us all.  In 2012 the costs of poverty in Alberta was calculated to be $7.1 -  $9.5 billion annually.  These costs show up in health care, the justice system and lost opportunity costs, such as the loss of economic activity.  Make a difference in our community by participating in the Poverty Simulation event on May 14th.  This 3-hour event is an opportunity for business leaders, government representatives and community members to discover how poverty impacts individuals and our community. 




campaigncochairsannounced2014 Campaign Co-Chairs Announced
We are pleased to announce that the 2014 Campaign Co-Chairs are Dustin Sundby, Regional Managing Partner at MNP and Red Deer City Councillor Lynne Mulder.  For further details, read the full press release here.
We Need You 

Campaign Volunteers Needed

If you can have a conversation about the value United Way brings to our community and use your amazing powers of persuasion to further engage our loyal contributors, please give us a call!

Volunteer For Our Campaign Cabinet
Contact Jennifer Forrest  



Event Volunteers Needed

May 14 Poverty Simulation Helpers

Contact Lori Jack



Or contact the office at 403.343.3900  

We Care That You Care  

This month, we hosted our first Leadership Celebration to thank any individual who donated $1,000 or more to the United Way campaign.  


We can never say thank you enough, and we wanted to be able to provide a meaningful thank you to our donors.  We had the pleasure of being able to meet some of our most generous donors for the first time ever, even though they have donated to United Way for over 20 years!  It was also one couple's 25th wedding anniversary, and we were honoured they chose to spend it with us. This type of celebration has been a long time coming, and we did this without spending donor dollars, with full sponsorship from Mike and Nadine George and The Black Knight Inn.


We started focusing on encouraging Leadership Giving two years ago when we were able to launch the Leadership Matching Challenge (a pool of money was put up to match any new or increased leadership donation).  We were able to increase the sponsors and pool of money last year, which was again all matched thanks to another significant increase in leadership giving.  The Leadership Matching Challenge sponsors for 2013 were Canadian Tire North, MNP, Warren Sinclair LLP, Jack and Joan Donald, and Peter and Kathy Lacey. 


In 2013, 377 Leaders gave a total of $661,570, and increase of 43 leadership donors and $66,443 over the previous year.  


My Healing Road


I first came to the Central Alberta Sexual Assault Centre because I had been raped while attending College. This sexual assault threw my life into crisis. I went through many reactions common to survivors, including shock, blaming myself for drinking that night, I couldn't eat, I couldn't sleep properly and I had nightmares when I did manage to succumb to exhaustion. I was feeling suicidal. I had no one to talk to about the emotions that were overtaking my entire being.


Through the support of the Sexual Assault Centre I was able to address the impact that the rape had on my life.  Along the way we uncovered an enormous skeleton in my closet, which was a long held secret I carried of years of sexual abuse by a member of my family. The abuse began when I was 10 and continued for years. The abuse was subtle at first, then it escalated to where it was happening multiple times each week, and to the point that my virginity had been taken from me. For years I kept the secret of being abused locked away, separate from my daily life. Yet I also felt the effects of holding on to a secret like this. I fought with depression, drinking to self-medicate, experimenting with drugs so that I could forget. My self-esteem was non-existent; I had no concept of boundaries. I felt like I was not even a person, but merely an object. Nightmares were frequent, as were a multitude of emotions when having to face my abuser at family functions and holidays. It was this immense and overwhelming "thing" that I eventually could not outrun.


It took a long time to get to the point that I'm at today on my healing road. I've read a lot of books, done a lot of writing in my journal, and spoken off and on with the counselor at CASASC for many years. I am doing much better than I was, and I am eternally grateful to have been able to get this far with the help I received from the Sexual Assault Centre.

Your Dollars At Work


The volunteer-led Community Impact Council (CIC) determines how United Way will invest donor dollars and be involved in changing pervasive social conditions affecting Central Albertans.  This year the CIC intends to support the following programs and initiatives:  

  • To enable kids to be all that kids can be, 21 programs received the second year of funding in the three-year grant cycle.  We are also involved with the Red Deer Early Years Coalition in their efforts to promote the importance of the early years in long-term wellbeing. 

  • We support people moving from poverty to possibility by providing three-year grants to 8 programs that are focused on housing, employment opportunities and financial literacy.  United Way is also a partner in the Central Alberta Poverty Reduction Alliance who is working to reduce the number of barriers that exist for persons living in poverty.  In addition, we are excited to be co-hosting a poverty simulation in Red Deer on May 14th.

  • To ensure strong communities, healthy people we have invested in 19 programs that help individuals and families to feel a sense of personal wellbeing and connection to our community.  By working on the provincial 211 network we are striving to make access to information about programs in our community accessible to all.


United Way is a proud funder of each of these agencies, and is grateful for the work these organizations do for our community.

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In This Issue


Mental Health Matters 


The Cost Of Poverty In Alberta 


2014 Campaign Co-Chairs Announced 


Save The Date 


We Need You 


We Care That You Care 


My Healing Road 


Your Dollars At Work 


Photo Of The Month 


Did You Know...? 

Save The Date
photoofthemonthPhoto Of The Month
Peter and Sylvia Bouteiller celebrate their 25th wedding anniversary at the first ever United Way Leadership Celebration. Congratulations!
Did you know...?


Alberta Health Services report that 16% of the population visit a physician annually about mental health issues - for Central Alberta that is more than 33,350 people.  This number does not account for the individuals who access services in the community without having consulted their doctor first.  The need to support people to build their confidence and skills to move forward a lead a fulfilled life is significant.