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Decades of Making a Difference


United Way Central & Northern Vancouver Island 

Over the last six years, Central Island United Way joined with United Ways in Cowichan, Comox Valley and Campbell River to more efficiently raise funds and work closely with volunteers and Impact Councils in each of the areas we serve.

The roots of United Way in Canada reach back to the Great Depression, when the Community Chests and Councils division of the Canadian Welfare Council was formed to provide health and welfare planning. That was in 1939. Years later, the organization evolved its name to the Community Funds and Councils of Canada, yet remained strongly focused on the specific issue of social welfare. Eventually, the organizations membership recognized the opportunity to effect greater, more enduring change by taking a broader approach to social policy and development. In 1972, an independent corporate structure was established, with greater resources and capacity for long-term, strategic leadership. In 1975 came a new name: United Way Centraide Canada (UWCC). 

Today, UWCC is one of just a handful of comprehensive community organizations in North America, the national body representing a Movement of over 100 local United Ways  Centraides across the country.


New times, New challenges

Canada has undergone profound change in the decades since UWCCs inception. The fundamental experience of community is different today: so too are the needs Canadian communities face. As a result, our Movement continues to evolve to remain effective by focusing efforts where they are needed most. We are committed to improving lives and building communities by engaging individuals and mobilizing collective action. This is work that requires providing not simply services but also proactive, strategic leadership that helps communities build up their own capacity to confront the challenges facing them.

UWCC speaks on behalf of the Movement at the national level, addressing critical nationwide social and community issues. It works to improve member access to resources and partners by forging relationships with national and international stakeholders and fosters collaboration among local UWs-Cs to harness their collective power for change.

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