United Way of Peel Region kicks off 2017 fundraising campaign across Peel RegiOn

PEEL REGION (September 15, 2017) – This morning, United Way of Peel Region kicked off its annual workplace fundraising campaign at the Century Gardens Community Centre in Brampton.

Over 200 community members joined Kris Smith, 2017 Campaign Chair and Executive Vice President, Downstream, Suncor Energy, Bruce McCuaig, Board Vice Chair and Executive Advisor at the Privy Council Office, and Anita Stellinga, Interim President and CEO at United Way of Peel Region at the breakfast rally.

“We need to talk about the difficult stuff. Poverty – hunger, lack of shelter, anxiety. Tough, real issues that people, right here, in Peel face every day. We can show just how much we care about one another by supporting programs in our community that are working towards United Way’s mission to reduce poverty and support people living in crisis right now,” said Kris Smith, 2017 Campaign Chair. “Last year, together we impacted the lives of over 200,000 people across Brampton, Caledon and Mississauga. This year, we want to do even more. Scratch that. This year we need to do even more.”

Lisa Clarke shared her personal struggle with mental illness with the crowd. Her inspirational speech showcased a few of the local supports United Way funds to help individuals and their families cope with mental health challenges.

“When you give to United Way, you’re helping people get access to the supports they need and that are right for them – you’re supporting people in crisis right now. Your donation is life-changing,” said Anita Stellinga, Interim President and CEO, United Way of Peel Region. “When you give to United Way, you’re pulling someone to the safe side of a ledge. You’re reaching out your hands and offering your support. In order to be a strong, healthy community, we all need to support one another – individually and as a whole.”

Although the event touched on some of the issues affecting our community right now – such as the 235,000 people currently struggling with basic needs like food, housing, and transportation - the atmosphere was one of hope and positivity.

Community members were joined by Lindsay Zier-Vogel of the Love Lettering project, which has had significant coverage on CTV and Global Television. Attendees wrote short love letters to Brampton, Caledon, and Mississauga, reminding people why Peel is an amazing place to live, work, and play. The letters will be shared throughout the next few months across the community.
Everyone was challenged to complete random #actsofpossibility across the community – holding doors open for people, volunteering, and sending thank you letters, for instance – to create impact and possibility in Peel Region every day.

Possibility shone among the crowd throughout the morning, and the community was called on to dig deep, and share their experiences with people throughout the remainder of the year.
Creating possibility is part of United Way’s mission to eradicate poverty in Peel Region by preventing poverty, reducing poverty, and supporting people living in crisis right now.
The kick off event was generously sponsored by Suncor Energy.

The venue was sponsored by the City of Brampton. Breakfast was provided by Marc’s and Daniel’s No Frills, COBS Bread Highway 10 and Eglinton, COBS Bread at Meadowvale Town Centre and COBS Bread Highway 10 and Erin Mills Parkway.

To learn more about the work of United Way Peel Region or to invest in your community visit Event photos will be available at

About United Way of Peel Region

Established in 1967, United Way of Peel Region inspires people from all walks of life to come together to raise funds, volunteer and motivate policy and attitude changes that lead to the improvement of people’s quality of life in Brampton, Caledon and Mississauga. United Way’s community investment focus is to help individuals and families move from a life of poverty to one full of possibilities, to ensure all children have the opportunity to be all they can be, and to build strong communities. For more information on United Way’s work in the community visit:

Media contacts:

Trudi Ford | Senior Manager, Communications and Marketing
905-580-7962 (mobile) | | @unitedwaypeel