United Way award recognizes committee's focus on partnerships, education and care

March 12, 2021 | Society, Campus Life

MacEwan University’s United Way committee was recognized with the well-known charitable organization’s Education and Engagement award at its annual United Way Red Tie Gala.

Every year, MacEwan runs a campaign to raise awareness of and funds for the United Way of the Alberta Capital Region. This year, however, MacEwan’s United Way campaign took a different approach by placing greater focus on creating partnerships with United Way programs and resources to benefit students, staff and the community in a direct and visible way.

Campaign co-chairs Nadia Goodhart and Dr. Joanne Minaker accepted the award.

“Receiving the award for Education and Engagement means so much,” says Dr. Minaker. “It shows our campaign theme, ‘Education Matters, Care Matters, Educators Care,’ resonated. We see the impact of learning and the power of social connection.”

Goodhart adds that the campaign “focused on what our role and responsibilities are as a post-secondary institution – taking care of our students, educating our community and providing assistance to our community.”

The campaign addressed three priority areas: student mental health, community engagement and student financial literacy. Throughout 2020, the committee hosted events and provided resources to assist students in these areas with the support of United Way programs. Some of the year’s highlights included a food drive for the Students’ Association of MacEwan University’s Pantry food bank program, mental health workshops and financial literacy information sessions.

Dr. Annette Trimbee, MacEwan's president and vice-chancellor, kicked off this year's campaign by reading to the children at the Early Learning at MacEwan childcare centre – highlighting the United Way’s focus on children’s literacy and drawing attention to the important connection between early learning and post-secondary education. “Learning is a lifelong process,” she says. “When organizations like the United Way provide young children with support in literacy and early learning, it lays a critical foundation that helps them succeed throughout their educational journey, preparing them for post-secondary and beyond.”

The committee plans to maintain the same priorities for the 2021 campaign, building on its successes in 2020.

“Our staff, faculty and students rallied around the idea of what we could do as a collective,” says Goodhart. “We are proud to represent MacEwan in accepting this award and look forward to doing some amazing things this coming year.”

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