This Year’s Campaign

We’re excited to tell you about our 2020 fall campaign. Our campaign runs from October 19 – November 6 and the theme is Education Matters, Care Matters, and Educators Care.

Message from campaign co-chairs

The MacEwan United Way committee has partnered with the United Way in previous years primarily as a fundraising campaign. This year we went a step further and engaged the United Way directly. We worked together to develop some strategic and sustainable priorities that align with our pillar of Students First. The MacEwan United Way committee set goals to have our strategic priorities centered on awareness, education, and engagement. United Way is a bridge that helps MacEwan connect to communities, agencies and businesses, as well as our students. The United Way has committed to promoting the alignment between United Way funded services and the challenges faced by post-secondary students.

Be sure to look out on Global Mail for a video message from the President. Dr. Trimbee read a story to the Early Learning at MacEwan (ELM) students and spoke on the importance of Early Education and how the United Way supports programs to facilitate this.

There are many opportunities for students, faculty, and staff to get engaged. During the campaign you can support United Way by

  1. Care Matters- Top up your coffee. Each beverage purchased at the Bean's List on campus can be rounded to the nearest dollar with the proceeds going to United Way.
  2. Educators Care- Mask it up. Buy a United Way branded mask at the bookstore and wear it while on campus and while doing face to face instruction. Available to purchase October 5.
  3. Education/Care Matters- Trivia Time. Create a team of 5 and play along to win some amazing prizes from surrounding businesses on October 23. Hosted by Sabrina Capitos from SAMU and Vazhan Prakash from RBC.
  4. Education/Care Matters- Sexual Wellness during COVID-19 Pandemic. Join Nina Sangra, a Registered Psychologist in Wellness & Psychological Services, and Aubrianna Snow, SAMU’s VP Student Life, for a sex-positive webinar about sexual wellness during a pandemic on October 26.
  5. Education/Care Matters- Reel Resilience. Explore how movies can strengthen mental wellness and learn evidence-based strategies to enhance your viewing experiences on October 29.

All events will be available to students, faculty, and staff. Our events are free for students and we are having a pay as you go system so that everyone can take part.

Register for events:

Donations are welcome

We encourage you to support these events and to contribute to the good work done by the United Way, which supports our current and future students in many ways.

Feel free to share on your social networks using #EducationMatters #CareMatters and #EducatorsCare

Nadia Goodhart and Joanne Minaker
Campaign Co-Chairs


Highlights of 2020

The MacEwan United Way committee has been working towards our strategic priorities centered around awareness, education, and engagement. Partnering with the United Way has allowed us to connect to communities, agencies, businesses as well as our students.

The priorities that the MacEwan University United Way committee identified that align with United Way are Mental Health, Financial Literacy and Community Engagement.

Mental Health has been a priority for MacEwan University in creating a healthier campus. United Way is focusing on mental health as social isolation, poverty, and a shortage of accessible services make it difficult for people to seek the mental health support they need. Developing minds also need positive emotional development, that is crucial to laying a good foundation for mental health and emotional stability as an adult. Mental, wellness and psychological services at MacEwan partnered with United Way to provide workshops, courses, and awareness campaigns of resources available to students.

Student Financial Aid partnered with the committee to provide access to Financial Literacy workshops for students. According to observation, students feel the most financially stressed during November and March. Through our combined efforts, we provided support through financial literacy workshops, and access to resources.

The committee will continue to work with United Way in identifying the agencies that they support to provide virtual volunteer opportunities. At the 2019 Organizational Development Day, staff identified an interest in giving back to their community through volunteering. We organized a Food Drive in support of the Student’s Association - The Pantry which helped a record number of students just prior to the COVID-19 shutdown of campus.

A gap was identified by United Way and Post-secondary institutions in the Capital region, to get high school students to post-secondary graduation. MacEwan University, University of Alberta, Norquest College, Athabasca University, The King’s University and Concordia University sit on the post- secondary collaboration table. The outcomes of this committee are to identify champions, raise the profile, develop solutions to social issues, recognition, community building, awareness and giving back. Students from these post-secondary institutions were able to take part in the largest Poverty Simulation in North America and took part in a peer project competition.

The United Way’s Downtown Collaboration is a team of downtown businesses and organizations that run their own internal United Way campaigns that have come together to collaborate on some exciting initiatives in the downtown core. Last year Stantec, The City of Edmonton, ATB and MacEwan University teamed up for a combined fundraising effort. This year Dentons, Deloitte, Edmonton Emerging Professionals Network, Enbridge, Rogers, and United Way Next Gen have joined our core group. The goals of this initiative are to connect with other downtown partners, highlight successes and raise the profile of the downtown-area organizations.

We are looking forward to a successful fall 2020 campaign but more importantly, to develop on these strategic goals going into the next year. If you would like to be a part of the committee, we would love to have you join us with your expertise. Please send an email to to join.

Strategic Goals

We have engaged United Way to develop some strategic and sustainable priorities that align with our pillar of Students First. The MacEwan United Way committee set goals to have our strategic priorities centered on awareness, education and engagement. United Way is a bridge that helps MacEwan connect to communities, agencies and businesses, as well as our students. The United Way has committed to promoting the alignment between United Way funded services and the challenges faced by post-secondary students. Our strategic goals are listed below.

Student Mental Health

Supporting mental health is critical to our “students first” philosophy. We’re all aware of the growing mental health needs of our student population. Last year alone, the Wellness and Psychological Services team dealt with 4,500 student appointments! Each year, the demand grows, so we need to rely on community agencies funded by the United Way to help support our students. The United Way’s Community Mental Health Action Plan is a partnership of more than 50 organizations involved in mental health and addiction in Edmonton and the surrounding area. With the help of the valuable partners under the Action Plan, we are able to refer students to the resources that they need to ensure their academic success and overall wellness.

Community Engagement

Engagement with the Edmonton community is integral to MacEwan University’s identity. Most of our students come from the Edmonton area, and our graduates go on to become local leaders and engaged citizens. The many agencies of the United Way provide support for those members of our community who are less fortunate and who need assistance with food security, safety from domestic violence, job training, housing, and much more. The United Way, through its agencies, responds to the complex challenge of poverty reduction with an emphasis on personal dignity and respect.

Financial Literacy

By fostering financial literacy for our students, we help to make their time at MacEwan less stressful and more productive, and to put them on a path to a financially secure future. The United Way supports financial literacy by offering free workshops in the community that are open to everyone. At MacEwan University, we are making available resources to students wanting to learn more about how to manage their money and avoid issues with debt.

Why do we care?

The MacEwan campaign committee is made up of volunteers throughout the campus. Some of us were told to be on the committee but we all have our reasons for staying on the committee.

We would like to introduce your colleagues that have made this year a memorable one for the MacEwan United Way campaign committee.

Joanne Minaker (Co-chair), Associate Dean, Faculty of Arts and Science.

The call for a co-chair came in and I decided that this was a good synergy between the responsibilities and activities that I am already engaged in with the Dean’s Office which involve community relations, external relations, faculty engagement and many other things.

This was a good way of getting faculty involved not just donating money but understanding the value of not only community members outside the institution, but for our students within the institution.

Nadia Goodhart (Co-chair), Executive Assistant, University Relations

I have worked with a lot of not-for-profit organizations and I see how communities in Edmonton rely on volunteers to make them work. Although United Way is an organization, they rely on people like us to make a campaign successful. I have seen how volunteers rally around their community so that no one gets left behind.

It is important to me as someone who is an immigrant and a minority, I can help those who are less fortunate. Volunteering is my way of giving back.

Carrie Pockrant, Supervisor Student Financials, Finance

I have been at MacEwan for almost 20 years. United Way does a lot of great work in the community and our committee has done a lot of different things to help our students.

I wanted a way to give back to the give back to the students and the community.

Sarah Branton, Director, Donor Relations, Alumni and Development

I work in the fundraising department.

United Way is a great organization and it is interesting to see how involved they are with the University outside of fundraising.

Wen Tzu Dillon, Administrative Support, Finance

I was also asked to be on the committee. But over the years, I have participated on a lot of campaign activities like challenges and Days of Caring.

It has been an interesting journey to see how we run the campaign and it has been great working with committee members all over the University.

Ramona Korpan, Communications Consultant, Office of Communications and Marketing

I have been on the campaign off and on for a few years. I am happy to be here and to connect through our many communication channels both to the students and faculty. Over the last year especially I have seen some positive stuff come out of this campaign. We have taken different approaches that have worked well.

We are definitely moving in the right direction and I am happy to be a part of it.

Joy Stein, Event Planner, Conference and Event Services

It is really cool to see the synergies of how United Way helps our students and our future students. It has been a good give and take relationship.

United Way has really great programs and I’m glad to be involved.

Sean Waddingham, SAMU President

I think there is some commonality with the Student Association, as a not-for-profit that helps students who are in need, and United Way. The impacts of the pandemic are hitting those who are less fortunate more than the average person.

The programming that United Way does is really uplifting and critically necessary at this time and I am happy to contribute to it as much as I can.

Annelise Lyseng, Counsellor, Wellness & Psychological Services, Student Affairs

I was invited to represent Wellness and Psychological Services to share information about mental health and help coordinate wellness events with the United Way.

I've appreciated the opportunity to meet people from across the university and work towards common goals: raising funds for an organization that empowers our community, and developing resources to support our students, staff, and faculty.

Tony Norrad, Associate Registrar Admissions, Office of the Registrar

We all have a story. I sincerely believe that we need to care for each other and reach out to support our neighbours in their times of need, ensuring their dignity while providing hope.

Myrna Khan, Vice President, University Relations

United Way addresses and seeks to provide solutions to the challenges that many of our students are facing: food security, financial literacy, mental illness.

Their collaborative approach to solutions is one that resonates with me – it will take many partners to break the cycle of poverty in our region.

Leaders of the Way

Leaders of the Way are United Way donors who contribute $1200 or more per year to United Way’s initiatives. We are so inspired by our Leaders of the Way – their generosity has helped many members of our community on their paths out of poverty.

We spoke to some of our Leaders of the Way about why giving matters to them.

"Giving matters to me because it is a response to the needs of the world. I grew up working class in a middle-class neighborhood. My recreation was all community provided, and I appreciate the opportunities that I had. Now, I am grateful for the wonderful organizations that are meeting the complex challenges in today’s communities. I choose the United Way because of its unique reach in the local community. The United Way does the fundraising and advocacy, allowing the funded organizations to concentrate on their necessary work. It is my privilege to contribute in a small way through a workplace pledge."

-Susan Jones, John L. Haar Library

"Giving matters to me because it’s simply unconscionable for those of us who have more than we need to not share our wealth. Grant MacEwan’s challenge to “leave the vineyard better than you found it” resonates deeply with me. There are so many people who are suffering – whether they don’t have enough to eat, are unable to find stable housing, are victims of discrimination or abuse, or have health or other problems. The United Way enables my dollars to be distributed to a wide variety of worthy causes and to where funds are needed most. And it saves me the time it would take to properly research recipient organizations." 

-Denise Roy, Former Dean – Faculty of Fine Arts and Communications

"Giving matters to me because it is a way to demonstrate people matter, regardless of how vulnerable, hurting or in need they may be at that moment in time. I care about making my community a fairer and more equitable place for all.

"Everyone deserves the opportunity to live their best life possible. Access to food when hungry, care when hurt, shelter when at risk, education when unknowing, acceptance when alienated, and family (however defined) when lonely or scared. Unfortunately, our world does not operate this way. My responsibility to others begins with giving what I can when I can – attention, time, money and/or myself.

"I give to the United Way because the United Way and United Way-funded agencies make a difference in my community. They provide services that might help someone get through the next hour, the next day or the rest of their life. Today I can afford to give, but who knows what tomorrow will bring."

-Associate Professor (anonymous)