Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Twelve years ago a small group of people came together in Yellowknife to create a new branch of the United Way, or Centreaide. They were inspired by the good work the United Way does in other parts of Canada and they wanted to see this same good work happen here in the North, and so United Way Yellowknife was born.
The promise of the United Way came to fruition thanks to generous donors, and tens of thousands of dollars was invested in community projects. In 2012 the United Way Yellowknife board decided to extend its reach to the whole territory and it became United Way NWT.
Staff of the Government of the Northwest Territories right now are in the midst of an annual United Way fundraising campaign. GNWT employees are being invited to sign up to donate to the United Way through payroll deductions.
Mr. Speaker, I donate this way and it’s an easy way to give. Staff’s donations are recorded on their T4 for easy tax return preparation, and donors can designate their donations to specific registered charities or to the general fund of the United Way NWT.
The funding priorities for the United Way NWT are focused on healthy people, healthy communities, helping kids be all they can be, and moving people from poverty to possibility. Last year the United Way NWT gave over $50,000 to 16 different projects impacting residents territory-wide.
Here’s a couple of projects: funding from the United Way enabled the Foster Family Coalition to purchase two new propane stoves for their summer camp, Camp Connections, an outdoor camp for children who receive social services. Many of the children from across the NWT have said being able to go to camp is a highlight not only for the summer but for their whole year.
United Way NWT also supports the NWT Breast Health/Breast Cancer Action Group. This group of volunteers provides ongoing support for breast cancer survivors by offering them creative opportunities to connect and express themselves. Funding from the United Way NWT paid for facilitators to present two breast cancer survivor workshops earlier this year.
These projects are just two of 16 projects that were funded last year. Many of these projects wouldn’t happen at all without the United Way NWT. Right now United Way NWT is working to sign up new donors via payroll deduction campaigns in their work places. The goal of the current United Way NWT campaign is to raise $65,000 to give away for community projects in 2015.
Mr. Speaker, I seek unanimous consent to conclude my statement.
---Unanimous consent granted