August 2014 

Vol 6, Issue 8  

United Way Connects

Are You Ready For A Fun-Filled Fall?
Say that ten times quickly!  Back to school  marks a very busy time for most of us in the community - even if you don't have school age children, it's often a busy time at work,  volunteer meetings resume, and of course everyone is getting ready for the United Way fundraising campaign.

We've got a fun-filled campaign ready for you, starting off with the Kick Off at the Sheraton Hotel on September 11th, and there is still time to get your tickets! click here to purchase tickets. We also have free training sessions available to those lucky folks who will be organizing their campaign this year, with room still available on September 18th and 24th. We promise you will leave energized to run your campaigns.
Employee Campaign Coordinator Training

We already know that NOVA Chemicals, our biggest supporter, will be kicking off their workplace campaign next month, as will the City of Red Deer, and more to be announced!

Back to school also means that the Big Brothers, Big Sisters mentorship programs come back into action, and we know they are looking for volunteers to help with this program.  The Tools for School program is also in full swing and in need of both volunteers and donations.

It's a busy time of year, but also our favourite - we get to see just how amazing and generous our community is, and we promise to share the best stories with you.


United Way Partners With Scott Kia For The Drive Change Promotion.    
United Way partnered with Red Deer's Kia dealership for the 2014 Kia Drive Change promotion. Kia Drive Change in Red Deer took place from July 21st to August 21, 2014. $100 of every new Kia vehicle sold between these dates supported United Way, with the final tally to United Way of $5,000.

Scott Kia is an important partner in the Central Alberta community. All of the dealerships in the Scottsville group of companies engage their employees every year to help make the annual United Way campaign a success. The dealerships have over 70% employee participation rate and run a very effective campaign. "We really want to celebrate the incredible work that United Way is doing to help make Central Alberta communities strong. Together we're able to help support the most vulnerable people who need help," stated Garret Scott, "I am quite comfortable saying that United Way as an organization and as a community partner is giving us the best return on our investment."

The Scott Kia's Drive Change promotion ended on August 21st with a BBQ hosted by Scott Kia, with all donated proceeds to United Way.
United Parcel Service Kicks Off  United Way Campaign   

UPS is the first to kick off their United Way campaign this year. On August 13, Ian Berg invited United Way staff and a Client Ambassador to speak at their morning safety briefing. Jennifer Forrest highlighted the strong UPS campaign last year, made the case for support and passed it over to Scott Raabis, our Client Ambassador. 


Scott spoke about his struggles with schizophrenia and homelessness before he sought help from the Schizophrenia Society of Alberta and other United Way partner agencies.  His life is better because of the support from the agencies, and indirectly employees from UPS and other workplaces in Central Alberta. Scott is taking advantage of various skills programs that are offered by United Way partner agencies. He has even signed up with Bull Skit Comedy to try his hand at Improv and Sketch Comedy. The annual United Way  workplace campaigns in Central Alberta are an integral to support the agencies and programs that are important for people like Scott.  


We thanked Ian for giving us his time, realizing the punctuality requirements of his job, quickly took a photo with all the staff behind the United Way banner and the brown trucks roared off with the days' deliveries. 


Strategic Plan Now Available

United Way Central Alberta is very pleased to announce that our Strategic Plan is now available to be viewed on our website. After a couple of years of consultations, and hard work by the Board, staff and volunteers. We now have a strategic Plan which sets out the organization's strategic direction  for the next 5 years. Naturally the cornerstone of the plan is our Community Impact work. Other goals in the plan address regionalization and expanding our capacity, in particular planned legacy giving. To read the Strategic Plan in full please go to  


Women's Outreach and United Way of Central Alberta presents Tools for School, a program to collect and distribute school  supplies for families across Central Alberta who have children in Kindergarten to Grade 12, who otherwise could not afford their own materials.

Last year the Tools for School program gave out just over 1200 backpacks filled with basic school supplies for kids going to school.  This  program relies fully on donations of supplies and money to make sure that these kids have everything that they need to succeed in school.

Supply drop-offs for the program can be made at any Staples and Walmart locations in Red Deer. The United Way office also has a drop box at the front entrance.

Becoming a School Mentor  



I grew up knowing the importance of giving back to the community, and have always connected with youth through my church. When I started working for the City of Red Deer and found out that staff can take off one paid hour a week to volunteer or mentor it was obvious for me to sign up with Big Brothers, Big Sisters.


Through the mentorship program I was matched with Nik. He was in grade 3 when we first started working together. It has been important for me to build a relationship with both Nik and his teachers through this program. Depending on Nik's schoolwork we will work on prepping him academically, though the main focus of our time together has been to have fun. I have seen the importance of this one hour a week in Nik's life - an hour where he can count on having fun, an hour that constantly reminds us both that he is someone worth hanging out with.


Over the course of four years Nik has grown from a kid to a young man who is heading into his teen years with a new level of confidence. Through Big Brothers, Big Sisters I feel that I have been able to help prepare Nik for success in life. Funding from United Way enables programs like Big Brothers, Big Sisters to help kids now and for many years to come.


- - Ken Lehman





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In This Issue


A Fun-Filled Fall   


United Way partners with Scott Kia   


Save The Date  


 UPS Kicks Off United Way Campaign 


United Way Strategic Plan      


The Tools for School Program     


Becoming a School Mentor  


Your Dollars At Work 


Photo Of The Month 


Did You Know...? 

Save The Date
photoofthemonthPhoto Of The Month
United Way CEO Robert Mitchell in the dunk tank at the Women's Outreach Tools for School Barbeque. Jennifer Forrest is winding up to nail the trigger.
Did you know...?

Community Builder BBQ 


What happens when we come together to make our community better?  We celebrate with a BBQ!  Safe Harbour Society won a BBQ event for their support of the Green Deer initiative.They invited the community to attend and support another community builder - United Way!  More than 200 people enjoyed the hot day, good tunes, and fabulous food.



Your Dollars at Work 


A Central Alberta woman now has increased mobility with help from United Way of Central Alberta's (UWCA) Capital and Equipment Small Grant Program.  A $1,000 grant to Easter Seals Alberta was used to purchase a scooter for 82 year old Joan of Sylvan Lake.  Joan lives in a senior's lodge and has three daughters, all of whom live at least an hour and a half away but still come into town when she needs assistance to get to her doctor appointments. Joan's health has declined in the past few years and her ability to go out into the community had diminished as it was too difficult to walk long distances, even with the assistance of a walker.  She has Congestive Heart Failure and COPD but she is also diabetic and suffers from anemia and osteoarthritis. Despite Joan's declining health, the scooter gives her the freedom to once again enjoy the outside community as well as the ability to travel to swimming and aquasize sessions.  UWCA provides small grants for Capital and Equipment and Professional Development to successful applicants.  For more information, go to