Message from Daniele
Over this extraordinary year, our community has been challenged by COVID-19, not just its impact on our health, but the umpteen ways it has upended people’s lives — both those who’ve often known need and those who have never, until now. Our community has been exposed. The depth of the inequities that make up our every day, that are built into the very neighbourhoods in which we live — and how they reduce the quality of life for so many — are no longer ignorable.
In the face of these stark realities, we’ve also seen remarkable resilience and hope. How our United Way, 65 years in the making, has been able to harness collective efforts and respond in ways unthinkable only a short while ago. And how, while still in the midst of crisis, we are already looking ahead, reimagining a more inclusive community.
The lesson of our pandemic experience is in truly acknowledging the human cost of the negative forces at work in our community — persistent and pervasive systemic racism and discrimination, rising income inequality and precarious employment, to name a few — and understanding that we have not just the power, but the obligation to act, to change them.
More than ever, we are committed to that ideal in our own workplace and in our own community. To using everything we are and everything we have to strengthen that social safety net that has become a lifeline for so many; to make the progress accelerated over the past year permanent and to go beyond challenging those forces, to beating them. Everyone deserves a fair chance. It is that simple. And it is about more than charity; it is about social justice. How can we possibly settle for anything less?
We know we don’t have all the answers. But we also know that with your support, we are ready — poised, emboldened and resolved — to move mountains. And together, only together, we can.
President & CEO
United Way Greater Toronto