My father is a fan of the Weather Channel. Whenever I call him, he says to me, “We’re so lucky,” by which he means that Alberta has not been hit by the terrible weather calamities he sees taking place in the rest of the world.
You know, he is right. We are lucky. Living here in Alberta. Working and studying here at the University of Alberta. We don’t feel it every day, but we are fortunate in many ways. This is why I agreed to co-chair the United Way campaign for the University of Alberta this year. Because there are many people in Edmonton who are in difficult circumstances, and the agencies and programs of the United Way are one of the best ways to make a difference.
120,000 people in Edmonton live in poverty. This is a startling fact, and not acceptable in a city and province as prosperous as we are. The United Way has been working to develop strong pathways out of poverty. It creates a collaborative, strategic and coordinated network of community partners focused on solving poverty’s underlying issues through education, income and wellness. It is an effective and efficient organization for solving social issues. It monitors the performance and measures the results of community investments, helping to advance our understanding of which solutions are making a significant difference in the lives of thousands of people in our community.
Our students also benefit from gifts to the United Way, either as individuals needing the resources of organizations supported by the United Way, or as students learning how to put their knowledge into practice within those organizations through CSL, internships and co-ops.
I encourage you to consider supporting the U of A United Way campaign, officially launching on October 11. We have a financial goal of $750,000, which is a 50% increase from last year. There are a number of matching opportunities – for new donors and for those who increase their donations to “leader of the way” status. We can help make this a better community for everyone.
Dean of Arts