I have been a supporter of the United Way since my teenage years when I realized how fortunate I was when so many of my neighbours were in need. That the University of Toronto is so highly motivated in its support of the United Way is a strong reflection of the social leadership that our academic community contributes in the Greater Toronto Area. It is a commitment that gives me pride to be a member of this University, joy in that we collectively improve so many lives, and hope in that we are teaching our youth to one day assume responsibility for such social leadership roles in their own right.
As members of a leading educational institution we understand that barriers to student success go beyond the classroom. My workplace is located at the University of Toronto Mississauga, and I experience the impact of the United Way in the Region of Peel. Poverty, homelessness, mental health, family violence, youth unemployment, racism, and hunger are community issues that impact our students and their families on a daily basis. Such issues impede many students from reaching their fullest potential, and this often starts at an early age. The United Way of Peel Region and its partners in 2016-17 impacted over 200,000 lives through 88 programs run in partnership with 53 agencies; an enormous impact, but still not nearly enough to fully address the need.
In 1980, two per cent of Peel’s neighbourhoods were considered low income. Today, it’s 45 per cent. One in five children in the Peel community lives in poverty. Such is the case across much of the GTA. We all lose when these children cannot reach or excel in education because their personal circumstances have not provided them opportunity. I am dedicated to the support of the United Way, knowing that when we change the nature of opportunity for our children, we change the nature of opportunity for our entire society.
I hope you’ll join me and contribute to the Campaign this year. To make the donation process easier, you can donate online here.
Should you prefer to donate by cheque, donation instructions are available on this webpage.
If you have any questions about the Campaign, please contact the U of T United Way Team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thanks in advance for your consideration and support.
Vice-President & Principal, University of Toronto Mississauga
Professor of Chemistry