Get to know United Way

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The best way to inspire your co-workers to support your workplace campaign is to understand the issues that affect our community and how United Way is helping to address them.

Covid-19 has seen the most vulnerable in Windsor-Essex pushed to their limits, and beyond. Our social safety net was already stretched thin before the onset of Covid-19, demand for community services is climbing, and the road to recovery is long. The reality is, our community can’t recover without you. But together, we can get through this stronger and more resilient than before.

United Way is committed to putting your donations to work in Windsor-Essex in the most effective way possible, when and where they’re needed most. We’ll continue to provide vital supports for kids and families whose lives have been turned upside down by this global crisis. Here are a few examples of how United Way and its partners have pivoted to support people during COVID-19.

Community Leadership

As the pandemic reached our community, United Way Windsor-Essex County established the Covid-19 Emergency Relief Fund to meet emerging needs. Over $545,000 has been donated to the fund so far allowing us to support the most vulnerable in our community. READ THE REPORT

As a trusted partner of the Government of Canada, United Way has allocated $1.73 million in Federal funding to charities who are adapting their frontline services to support vulnerable residents during Covid-19. For more on which charities are receiving support, read the Media Release and the latest update release.

WATCH United Way's Town Hall Update to the community on pandemic emergency response efforts.

Mental Health Supports

A pandemic is a very stressful event for individuals and families. It's understandable to feel anxious, stressed, angry, depressed or fearful. As the impact of COVID-19 in Windsor-Essex community and the need for physical isolation continues, these feelings can become overwhelming and difficult to manage.

The Windsor-Essex Counselling Support Line provides free, safe, timely and 24/7 responsive telephone counselling support to people who are struggling to cope with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Learn more from the MEDIA RELEASE.

Food Security

Emergency food assistance became a pressing need from the time Covid-19 hit. In response, United Way mobilized the community including partners Green Shield Canada and the WE Covid Care Coalition to respond. A food helpline was established providing safe and responsive support to anyone in need, including low-income families and senior citizens. Grocery gift cards or access to food through food banks or home delivery was provided. For more on our collaborative efforts, read our April 2 Media Release.

For a look into the people working on the front lines of local food security efforts, watch this heartwarming video featuring the staff and volunteers supporting the WE COVID Care Coalition's COVID-19 response.


Seniors in our community are at the highest risk of poor health due to COVID-19 but increased social isolation can also negatively affect their mental and physical health.

As a trusted Government partner, United Way administered funds in the amount of $102,499 through the Government of Canada’s New Horizons for Seniors Grant Program, providing urgent support directly to local seniors To learn more about the Seniors Call Assurance Helpline and our collaborative of community partners, read our April 20 Media Release.

WATCH: United Way Champion Rodger Dzugan debunks myths around United Way and discusses important messages to share with existing and potential donors.


We love where we live. But local issues like childhood poverty are hurting our community. In our busy lives, these local issues can be easy to ignore or go unnoticed.  And you can’t solve a problem if you don’t know it exists.  We’re working to make this local issue #UNIGNORABLE.

Generosity powers United Way’s work in the community. It allows us to tackle complex, persistent and #UNIGNORABLE issues that are preventing far too many people and families from getting ahead.

Here’s how your donation is helping to tackle the #UNIGNORABLE issues in our community right now:  

#UNIGNORABLE Issue: Childhood poverty continues to grow in Windsor-Essex County.

Our Response: Cradle to Career is a strategy that focuses on children and youth from the time they are born until they find a career. A generation from now, we want Windsor-Essex to be a more prosperous community where all children achieve their dreams and reach their potential.

WATCH: learn more about our community’s new Cradle to Career strategy

#UNIGNORABLE Issue: Children living in low income have fewer opportunities to expand their knowledge of STEAM subjects (science, technology, engineering, arts and math) outside of school.

Our Response: United Way’s WE-STEAM program helps to improve performance and confidence in STEAM subjects at school, sparking young minds to the possibility of STEAM-based career fields and 21st Century jobs. Last year WE-STEAM was embedded in nine local after-school programs, engaging 336 kids over the past two years.

WATCH how we’re continuing to encourage curiosity and learning during a global crisis:

1 in 3 food bank users in Windsor-Essex County are children, and many kids who rely on school meals struggle to get enough to eat during the summer months when school nutrition programs are closed.

Our Response: United Way's Summer Lunch Program provides a free healthy lunch to kids growing up in low-income families when school is out for the year. Last year, we reached more kids in more locations and increased the quality of food offered.

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: Students from low-income families have a 38% likelihood of attending college or university but students from higher-income families has a 63% chance. Research shows that 4,000 children in Windsor-Essex growing up in low-income won’t escape poverty.

Our Response: United Way’s On Track to Success (OTTS) program wraps supports around a family helping economically disadvantaged youth stay in school, graduate and successfully transition to adulthood. We’re removing barriers to prosperity with academic and financial support and social and career mentoring.

Last year, 106 students were supported and 72% are attending post-secondary education programs this Fall.

WATCH: OTTS 2020 graduate Leah receives a life changing financial award toward her post-secondary education.

Looking for more stories of success and the impact your donation makes possible? We’ve got you covered:

United Way/Centraide Windsor-Essex County
300 Giles Boulevard East, Unit A1, Windsor, Ontario N9A 4C4

t: 519-258-0000 | f: 519-258-2346 | | Charitable Registration #: 108160334 RR0001