Jessica Monk - Volunteer Champion  

Jessica donates and volunteers for United Way because she believes everyone deserves a champion. 

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When you are a volunteer, you end up volunteering for a lot of things. You just stand up. 

I have been volunteering with the City of Edmonton’s United Way campaign for six years. It's a chance to do something a little bit different within my workplace and an opportunity to be a leader. Last year, I took on the role of Campaign Chair, which led me to understand even more about the strategic ways United Way supports the community. 

What first drew me to United Way was their focus on youth and education. One of my first jobs was as a youth program leader. I had these two little girls who only ever wanted to colour, even though there were so many other things to play with. 

One day I asked them, “Why do you girls only want to colour?” They said, "We don't have markers and paper at home.” That moment taught me a lot about privilege. It really cemented for me how important it is to provide drop-in programs and supports for children. 

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. 

A big motivator in my decision to increase my donation to the Leader of the Way level was learning how United Way looks for and fills gaps in community programming, and how it coordinates with different agencies to provide wrap-around supports that really are long-term approaches to helping people get out of poverty. 

I’ve had volunteers come up to me and tell me how United Way has impacted them. When you get involved and see the passion that people have, the volunteer hours that are going into the work, and when you hear the stories of people who have been helped… you realize there is no reason not to give! 

 
 

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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Let's make 2018 great, visit myunitedway.ca to get started!