Impact Stories

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Urban Systems Foundation and Abbeyfield Garden


United Way of Northern BC Day of Caring® – Urban Systems Foundation and
Abbeyfield Garden

On August 11 th , through the Urban Systems Foundation, a registered charity of Urban
Systems Limited, Urban Systems staff volunteered for a United Way of Northern BC
Day of Caring® where they spent a weekend planning and planting a garden at the
Abbeyfield House Senior’s Residence.

“It was a really great experience working with the residents of Abbeyfield to come up
with a design for their front garden. While we were planting many residents came and
expressed their excitement about the project and how much they liked having a garden
out front”, said the staff members of Urban Systems who spent their weekend working
at the resident’s house. The Foundation has further plans to install a sculpture as
centrepiece at the front.

A Day of Caring® is a United Way initiative of mobilizing local businesses, organizations
and corporations to assist local […]

2018-08-22T14:37:04-07:00August 22nd, 2018|Day of Caring, Impact Stories|

Thriving, not just surviving after sexual abuse

Today, Rob Richards helps men overcome the effects of sexual abuse in a support group at Surpassing Our Survival (SOS) Society, a United Way of Northern BC funded agency in Prince George that helps women, children and men overcome sexual violence. He meditates ninety minutes every day and practices yoga to live a more mindful life.

Rob wasn’t always so put together. When his father died over ten years ago, he was flooded with memories of both sexual and physical abuse. This realization led Rob to a dark place, and even though he went to counselors and psychiatrists, they couldn’t help him move past the anger and shame.

Two and a half years ago, Rob sat on the couch feeling hopeless. “I lay there going, ‘Is this really all there is? Is this who I want to be? Am I really going to stay in this place where I am filled with all this anger?’ And […]

United Way of Northern BC’s $100 Pens

Peter Baird, General Manager of Forest Planning at Canfor, loves the pens handed out during United Way of Northern BC’s workplace campaign. Peter said, “I almost exclusively use United Way pens. I like the way they fit my hand – I do a pile of writing for my work, and other pens create pain.”

Peter loves our pens so much, he committed to donating $100 per pen, and was given five pens. This means Peter is donating a total of $500 to United Way of Northern BC this year.

But it’s not really about the pens.

Peter has worked for Canfor for over 26 years, and has supported United Way of Northern BC as far back as he can remember. He has attended our “Seeing is Believing” tours and visited the Prince George Brain Injured Group. He recalls hearing the story of a woman who had a great job and one day slipped on […]

2017-10-31T18:23:27-07:00October 31st, 2017|Give, Impact Stories, Our Donors|

Sowing Seeds of Change

In response to a high unemployment rate coupled with low literacy, the Upper Skeena Development Centre created the Senden Holistic Youth Program that helps youth gain the confidence and life skills needed to become successful adults. With guidance and support from many local partners, a local advisory composed of elders, traditional knowledge keepers and service providers, and funding from the United Way of Northern BC, Senden programs build skills, knowledge and confidence for youth.

This program is unique in that in takes a holistic approach to youth development by focusing on connection – a connection to self, others and the land. By engaging youth and their families in gathering and growing food, and exploring traditional and modern teachings, the program cultivates personal and community well-being. Senden’s summer program runs from May to September and youth aged 17-26 come to the historic farmhouse three days a week to learn how to plant, grow, rotate […]

The Hero Effect Focuses on Health & Wellness

“Cheyenne River Youth Project,” airs on Saturday, July 8 at 10am EST on OWN or you can watch the episode here.

This month’s hero, Julie Garreau, grew up in a remote area of South Dakota and experienced first-hand the needs of the Lakota Tribe. Julie became a dedicated youth advocate on the Eagle Butte, SD reservation to inspire hope where opportunities are so scarce. Julie’s experience led to her founding of the Cheyenne River Youth Project, which works with low-wage families on the reservation. Her project provides mental health services to combat high suicide rates, physical health programs to address youth diabetes, an after-school center for children, internships and job training programs. In 2002, the South Dakota Coalition for Children named Cheyenne River Youth Project a “Champion for Children.” Julie proves that the environment of your upbringing is a barrier that can be broken and that dreams are possible.

2017-07-29T08:45:21-07:00July 3rd, 2017|Impact Stories, The Hero Effect|

Good Food Boxes Deliver Healthier Eating in Dawson Creek

Imagine having to choose between feeding your family fresh fruit and vegetables and paying the rent. For many families in Northern BC, this is a stark reality.

Northern Health reports that our region has the highest rate of food insecurity in the province, with up to 19% of households not able to afford nutritious food to feed their families. Families who struggle to afford a healthy diet face increased depression, stress and social isolation. Children lack important micronutrients and risk increased chronic conditions like asthma and depression.

Network Ministry’s Good Food Box, a United Way supported program out of Dawson Creek, is working to change that.

Twice a month, volunteers gather to pack fresh fruit and vegetables into 140 boxes that are picked up or delivered to families who have been referred to the program by a Northern Health dietitian.

Jacqueline Janssen, Program Director at Network Ministries states, “The Dawson Creek Co-op picks […]

The Hero Effect Focuses on Hunger

“Katie’s Krops,” Airs on Saturday, June 10 at 10am EST or you can watch the episode here.

Research shows that kids who have healthy nutritious food to eat every day are more likely to succeed in school. And yet research also tells us that right now, one in 6 children in Northern BC face hunger. Children who are hungry are more likely to get sick, be slower to recover from illness more slowly, and be hospitalized more frequently. It’s a vicious cycle that undermines their success in school and life.

This month’s The Hero Effect episode focuses on Katie Stagliano’s efforts to stamp out hunger.

Katie Stagliano, 18, is a high school senior from Summerville, South Carolina. She is the founder of Katie’s Krops, a non-for-profit organization with the mission to empower youth, start and maintain vegetable gardens of all sizes, and donate the harvest to help feed people in need. The idea for Katie’s Krops […]

Laura Finds New Hope

Laura was 14 when she was put in foster care. Her family home was no longer a safe place for her due to physical and sexual abuse. After being moved through several foster homes, Laura began working the streets of Prince George at the age of 17. She began using drugs to numb the pain and to cope with her feelings of hopelessness.

New Hope Society, which receives support from United Way, is the only drop-in-centre in Prince George where individuals in the sex trade, like Laura, receive support and one-to-one counselling. New Hope’s Program Coordinator, Jan Wilson, runs weekly workshops on life about addictions, life skills, job skills and how to stay safe and healthy. “Most of the women we work with have been involved with the foster care system, and have not had good experiences. There is a lot of shame about their addiction, about their work, about their past. Sometimes it takes […]

The Hero Effect Focuses on Foster Care

“Treehouse Foundation,” Airs on Saturday, May 13 at 10:00 am EST or you can view the episode here.

The Treehouse Foundation highlights a community founded to ensure children who have experienced foster care find lifelong family relationships. Treehouse Foundation (Easthampton, MA) is re-envisioning foster care in America through intergenerational programs where children in foster care and the elderly come together to support one another, leading to fulfilling and productive lives. As founder and foster parent Judy Cockerton would attest, they need to know they’re not in the foster care system because they did something wrong. Many times older people age out themselves to live in senior housing where they feel isolated. With still so much to give, they offer valuable teachings to the kids. Together they form a loving community.

Hannah’s Safe Place

Diagnosed with autism when she was a toddler, Hannah, 14, refused to go to school or even leave the house. Her mother tried everything to get Hannah to attend school, but the teen became even more isolated and withdrawn.

Hannah’s mother began attending the Cooking with North Coast Community Services (NCCS) program in Prince Rupert and invited Hannah to come along. Meeting every Friday night, the group prepares a meal together while the younger children are looked after on the other side of the room.

At first, Hannah just wanted to cuddle the babies instead of helping prepare or clean up after the meal. With the urging of Infant Development Consultant, Sarah Browne, Hannah began cleaning up, and eventually came to enjoy helping chop vegetables, cooking and socializing with the group.

Hannah’s mother came home from work one day and found Hannah cooking one of the meals she learned from […]