United Way helped 205,000 people in Hamilton, Oakville, Burlington, Milton


Published June 23, 2022 at 4:40 pm

Local donors’ commitment to making important change has led United Way Halton & Hamilton to help 205,311 people through 106 local programs. UNITED WAY IMAGE

Communities in Hamilton, Burlington, Oakville, Milton and Halton Hills showed when they stand together they can make a difference in people’s lives.

That commitment from donors has enabled United Way Halton & Hamilton to help 205,311 people through 106 local programs over the last two years.

The impressive level of support was shared by United-Way funded agencies Thursday at the 2021-2022 Impact Report Launch.

This comes despite the local United Way facing two of the most challenging years, with support programs seeing a stark increase in demand, record-high rates of mental health struggles, and an increase in people and families experiencing food insecurity.

Local social issues have also been further strained by fluctuating pandemic restrictions. The wellbeing of children and mental illness progressed into a shadow pandemic, loneliness and isolation impacted seniors more than ever before, and the income gap in Canada was widened.

Still, the local United Way found out just how resilient the local community can be when it comes to helping vulnerable people who are facing significant social barriers.

“Every year, the Impact Report illustrates the journey of a donors’ support in their community with stories and statistics,” says Brad Park, president and CEO of United Way Halton & Hamilton, host of the Impact Report Launch. “The level of support seen this year has been absolutely inspiring. This year’s work gives us many reasons for hope as we work together to support local agencies who continue to struggle to meet demand.

“Our donors’ giving has opened up the possibility for everyone to overcome barriers, and thrive. Their Local Love shows that when we stand together, we are stronger.”

The Impact Report shows how United Way is responding to societal issues:

  • Nearly half (48 per cent) of Ontarians say their mental health worsened since the outbreak began, up from 36 per cent at the start of the pandemic. United Way Halton & Hamilton helped 48,092 people to improve their mental health, and are better able to handle life’s challenges.
  • Over the past four years, food banks saw a 19 per cent increase in demand across Ontario. Some 13,614 people have increased food security with the support of United Way Halton & Hamilton.
  • Physical activity in childhood is essential for a healthy brain and leads to improved thinking and learning, emotional regulation, problem solving, and stress management. United Way Halton & Hamilton funding helped 27,251 children and youth improve their emotional and physical well-being.

The annual event was hosted by Park and Brenda Delodder, United Way’s Vice President, Marketing & Communications.

Special panelists included Paul Gregory, Executive Director, Support House, Nadia Headley, Executive Director, Oakville Parent Child Centre, and Renee Wetselaar, Executive Director, St. Mathews House.

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