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Personal stories to inspire

Are you running a United Way workplace campaign? Hearing a personal account of how a gift to United Way creates opportunities for a better life for people in our region can offer your colleagues a deeper understanding of where donations go. Our speakers can be selected according to your company’s area of interest and will come directly to your workplace (or other designated meeting place) to share their heartfelt experiences. To book an agency speaker, contact us at 416-777-2001 or speakersbureau@uwgt.org.

Videos to inspire

The videos below can also be used to illustrate the impact that United Way Toronto & York Region’s funded agencies are making within our community.

  • Building Strong Communities

    Video still of Saadiya

    Saadiya is volunteering with United Way's Tower Neighbourhood Renewal project. She's working in her Thorncliffe high-rise neigbourhood to improve quality of life for residents by looking at solutions to issues like a lack of childcare.

    Download Saadiya’s story

  • Helping Kids Be All They Can Be

    Video still of Parker

    YouthLink—an innovative counselling centre for young people struggling with mental health—gave 19-year-old Parker the chance to smile again.

    Download Parker’s story

  • Moving People From Poverty To Possibility

    Video still of Afua

    Afua helps bring fresh fruit and vegetables to some of Toronto's low-income neighbourhoods. It's part of FoodShare's Mobile Good Food Market, a program funded by United Way.

    Download Afua’s story

  • Building Strong Communities

    Video still of Genell

    Genell is a resident of Malvern who felt isolated—but thanks to United Way’s Action for Neighbourhood Change she found a connection to her neighbours and community.

    Download Genell’s story

  • Helping Kids Be All They Can Be

    Video still of Akeem

    Akeem is employed and on his way to graduating from college thanks to the mentorship he receives at JVS Toronto’s Youth Reach program.

    Download Akeem’s story

  • Moving People From Poverty To Possibility

    Video still of Michelle

    Michelle is a single mother building a better life for her and her daughter thanks to the support she receives from WoodGreen Community Services.

    Download Michelle’s story

  • Victoria Park Hub

    Video still of Kaladevi Karunananthan

    Watch a vignette from United Way Toronto & York Region’s 2013 Campaign Video, Enbridge is partnering with United Way to support innovative projects like this resident-led paper making initiative at the Victoria Park Hub.

    Download Kaladevi’s story

  • Aneesa’s Story

    Video still of Aneesa

    Aneesa shares her personal story of how the support she’s received is helping her move from a life of poverty to one of possibility.

    Download Aneesa’s story

  • Cathy’s Story

    Video still of Cathy

    Cathy shares her personal story of how the support she’s received is helping her live a healthier, more productive life.

    Download Cathy’s story

  • Kadeem’s Story

    Video still of Kadeem

    Kadeem shares his personal story of how the support he’s received is helping him be all that he can be.

    Download Kadeem’s story

  • Suzy’s Story

    Video still of Suzy

    Becoming a new mother can seem like an insurmountable challenge, especially if you’re a teenager like Suzy. Finding herself pregnant and without support or resources, she didn’t know where to turn—until her brother suggested she visit the June Callwood Centre. The support she received from the staff and other agency recipients made it possible for Suzy to raise her son successfully and continue with her education.

    Download Suzy’s story

  • Bob’s Story

    Video still of Bob

    Without a helping hand, homelessness can be overwhelming, like it was for Bob. Homeless, marginalized and isolated, he didn’t know where to turn—until he was given a token by an agency outreach worker and told to seek help through United Way Toronto & York Region. Thanks to the support he received, Bob was able to turn his life around. Today he remains on the front lines, caring for other homeless people in our community.

    Download Bob’s story

  • Manoj’s Story

    Video still of Manoj

    Newcomers need help establishing their careers in Canada, but the settlement process can be challenging, just like it was for Manoj. When he arrived in Toronto, he had the education and the skills to work in accounting, but wasn’t able to gain employment because he lacked the proper credentials. That was until he decided to visit Skills for Change. Here, he received the training he needed to land his first job in Canada—a goal he achieved after one month of finishing the program.

    Download Manoj’s story

  • Evelyn’s Story

    Video still of Evelyn

    Many seniors face loneliness and isolation, but there are solutions, like the one Evelyn found by volunteering. When her husband passed away, she faced isolation and loneliness. But by getting to know the staff and community at the Bernard Betel Centre for Creative Living, Evelyn broke through these barriers. Today, she’s enjoying herself by helping other seniors live a more fulfilling lifestyle through social and physical activities—plus she’s making friends along the way.

    Download Evelyn’s story

  • Ambreen’s Story

    Video still of Ambreen

    Domestic abuse can be difficult for women and children to break free from, but Ambreen found a way out—as a result she now helps other women achieve the same independence. It was because of the support Ambreen received from various United Way agencies that she felt empowered to leave a negative situation. She has worked as a Violence Against Women counsellor at the Thorncliffe Neighbourhood Office, where she has helped empower other newcomer women to move their lives in a positive direction as well.

    Download Ambreen’s story

  • Sam’s Story

    Video still of Sam

    Having a disability can be stigmatizing and isolating, but it doesn’t have to be. By accessing programs at Community Living Toronto, Sam has made new friends, improved his speaking and work skills, and gained the self-sufficiency and skills that have led him to finding a job. Having an intellectual disability has been a challenge for Sam, but not a wall. Today he’s more independent than ever and living a productive life as a valuable member of our community.

    Download Sam’s story