United Way kicks off annual fundraiser to support Vancouver Island families

United Way kicks off annual fundraiser to support Vancouver Island families

Volunteers from the United Way and the Community Social Planning Council were in downtown Victoria on Thursday to kick off this year’s annual community fundraiser in support of local families.

The United Way Southern Vancouver Island (UWSVI) is hoping to raise $5 million this year, with funds going to 63 agencies and 77 programs across the Capital Region.

“For us, it’s really thinking about that idea of family and community and ensuring that every member of our community family has what they need to be successful,” said UWSVI executive director Erika Stenson.

The United Way has been serving the local community for 86 years. Last year alone, the UWSVI supported close to 63,000 people on southern Vancouver Island, or nearly one in six people in the region.

“We focus on three areas of action, seniors, isolated seniors – families in need – and people with mental health and addictions challenges,” said Stenson.


Several long-time donors are offering to match donations of $1,200 or more, up to a total of $100,000, until Oct. 31.

Community Campaign Raffle tickets are also open until Oct. 13, with prizes including a travel package, hotel voucher, a holiday photo shoot and luggage from the Bay Centre.

Tickets can be purchased online at the USWVI website.

Stenson says she’s aware $5 million sounds like a lofty goal, but the United Way hopes that community members can help step up to support fellow Islanders amid rising inflation and housing costs.

“Coming out of COVID it’s a big stretch, but we think the community is ready for it,” she said. “It is needed in our community in a lot of different areas and it’s really money that’s going to help your neighbors.”

Adam ChanAdam Chan

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