Well, you get people involved in the community and your people just get better than they already are. We all do. I think I'm a better person for my involvement in it.
Having lived his whole life in Edmonton, Fred Pheasey has been investing in United Way of the Alberta Capital Region for more than 30 years.
“To me, giving to United Way was pretty obvious. It was the non-profit of choice when I was raised to start saying “Hey, you know, I’ve done pretty well out of this community.” And now, I put a lot back and non-profit is a good way to do it and this is my one (charity) of choice.
Since I can’t go around and do it myself, I can’t determine who needs it most, who needs to be taken care of, but I thought United Way would do that job and do it well. And they have done it very well.”
Being raised in Alberta, Fred notes the issue that strikes the biggest chord for him is homelessness.
“January is a tough time to be homeless in this city.”
He once had the opportunity to volunteer at a local homeless shelter.
“I went over one afternoon and stayed right through till about one o’clock in the morning. Then I came back at about 6:30.”
While he was there, Fred noted there were close to 450 people staying at the shelter in the dead of winter.
“And the people that there was no room for at the shelter, had to live rough on the outside. And you look at it and you say, “There for the grace of God go I”.
Fred also notes it isn’t just about the people who receive help, but that those who give back to their community also benefit from the experience.
“Well, you get people involved in the community and your people just get better than they already are. We all do. I think I’m a better person for my involvement in it.”