• Boys and Girls Club Street Hockey Tournament

    On July 25, the Boys and Girls Club of Ottawa held a Street Hockey Tournament as part of its after-school programming. After-school and weekend hours are a critical time for youth because they can be an opportunity for youth to learn and grow, or be a time of risk to youth's health and safety.

    United Way Ottawa and the Boys and Girls Club of Ottawa have been working together since the 1920s.

  • Former board chair reflects on his time with United Way

    After four years on the United Way Ottawa board, two years as its Chair, Jamie McCracken stepped down in June. He shares with us how he got involved, his proudest achievement, and how people can bring about change in their community.


  • A mother whose life has come full circle

    The honey-coloured walls and decorative curtains in Clarissa’s office reflect the warmth of her personality, her professionalism and her approachability.  The reason each young mom who enters the centre feels so welcomed is most likely because Clarissa’s role at Youville Centre is not just a job for her -- it is the culmination of her life’s journey, where her past meets her present, and where she dreamed she might end up one day. As she talks with the young mothers at the centre, listening to their struggles and celebrating their successes, she brings a unique perspective to her work because she too was once a young mother at Youville Centre – just like them.

    When she was 11, Clarissa and her mom moved to her mother’s hometown of Ottawa due to her parents’ divorce. “I was angry. Angry that I had to leave my dad, angry that I had to leave my friends, and really just angry that I had no control over my own life. I felt really disconnected from my new environment and I started to act out.” By the time she was 13, Clarissa was not attending school consistently, and she had run away from home several times. Then at 16, she met someone and very quickly got into a relationship.

    “When I was 17, I found out I was pregnant. Suddenly, I realized that I was alone and that getting into trouble wasn’t an option anymore. I had to change my life and figure out how to take care of my son.”

    Continue reading A mother whose life has come full circle

  • What is Summer learning loss?

    The lazy days of summer are upon us. After a long school year and an even longer winter you can hardly blame kids for wanting to take it easy over the next few months and enjoy the sunshine.  However, with the school doors closed many students don't have access to learning opportunities that stimulate their brains. The result is that some students will experience a summer learning loss, particularly with regard to their skills in math and reading.

    How much will they lose?

    About "a month or two of academic gains can be lost" according to Scott Davies, co-author of the report "Summer Literacy Learning Project" and professor of Sociology and Child Studies at McMaster University.  "If you add that up over consecutive summers, for some students, that could mean falling a whole year behind," says Davies.

    In two of Ottawa's at-risk neighbourhoods, Banff-Ledbury and Confederation Court, United Way put a program in place to fight summer learning loss - with the help of the local community house and the support of Stephen Greenberg and Family.


    Continue reading What is Summer learning loss?

  • Making change happen, one suit at a time

    Indochino, Vancouver’s custom online menswear company, reached out to United Way to help give back to the community by donating one suit for every 50 sold in-store during its Ottawa Travelling Tailor event. The suits were given to clients enrolled in programs that help people with disabilities find meaningful employment, a priority for United Way Ottawa.  Meet two of Ottawa’s five recipients, John and Greg.


    Get involved and find out your organization can help.


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  • On June 5, LiveWorkPlay presented United Way Ottawa with the Community Partner of the Year Award. The award presentation took place at the LiveWorkPlay Engines of Success recognition banquet, an annual event which recognizes the achievements of people with intellectual disabilities and the people, organizations, and businesses who are building an inclusive Ottawa.