Bob & Debra Foss

Breaking the Cycle

Bob and Debra support United Way because they know a broad range of supports are needed

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We were both raised by single mothers living in poverty. 

Bob: I came from an abusive family and grew up on welfare. From an early age, I did anything it took to make sure we had enough. It’s hard growing up like that. 

Debra: I was a single mother myself for about four years. At that point, I accessed a lot of supports that were always there for me.  

When we look back at where we were, there wasn’t a whole lot out there. Help was limited. Now there are supports in place that weren’t there before, and it’s because of places like United Way. 

Everyone wants the next generation to be successful. In essence, we broke the cycle for our own children.   

We’ve been donating through our workplace for 18 years. We’re fortunate to work at Finning and have access to their corporate match. That extra bit maximizes our gift. 

Every piece of the puzzle is important. Food programs, mental health programs, support for kid’s education – there’s a mix of everything. United Way knows where the need is greatest, so we leave it up to them to invest our donation and provide support in the community. 

The supports were there when we needed them, and this is our opportunity to give back. 


2017 Donors

I have been so privileged and have had so many champions in my life - it’s important to me to be that champion for other people. As a community, when everyone feels like they have a champion and the resources to be the best they can be, we all benefit.

The supports were there when we needed them and this is our opportunity to give back.

As a family, we’ve always had the philosophy to give back to our community. We grew up with the understanding that if you were blessed with anything a little bit more than your neighbour, you should give some of it back.

Everyone deserves a fair chance at being able to succeed and have a meaningful life. When money, resources, and caring people all arrive at the same place – magical things happen.

Nobody wants to see struggle – It’s never easy to see someone on the street or a child experiencing poverty.

The organizations that United Way supports gave me the opportunity to stand on my own two feet.

United Way is not just about fundraising. It is really about transforming our region so that we see success for everyone - children, teens, adults, seniors and new immigrants looking to create a better life for their children.

I learned through United Way that about one in 10 people in the Alberta Capital Region lives in poverty. If I can help level the playing field, I’m definitely going to do what is within my means.

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