The power of possibility. Thank you!

A gallon of gas was 11 cents. The average price of a new home was $3,920.00. The minimum wage was 43 cents an hour. Only two of the four Beatles had even been born. And, for the second time in about 25 years, the world was at war again. Canada sent its sons and daughters to war to battle the existential threat of fascism and all of those still at home felt the impact of war. We are all grateful to those who paid the ultimate price and mindful of those in whose memories they lived.

More than 75 years ago the civic leadership of the day in this community recognized that we all had a duty to help those in need at home. Their foresight of the time has proven prescient throughout the following years.

Today the rapid rate and magnitude of change is having a profound effect on individuals and communities alike.

Whether one wishes to talk about the expansion of poverty and its impacts, or discuss the changing nature of employment the effects of which individuals and families are exposed to; there can be no doubt that, a consequence of the “century of dislocation” has been an explosion of those in the community who feel more precarious and vulnerable than ever before.

There are both economic and social costs which impact individuals and our entire community.

The growth of those feeling the pressure of the impacts of poverty is unmistakable. We (and our agencies) see it in numerous ways every day. It is a family or single parent showing up at a food bank.  It is our youth facing employment challenges like never before.  It is seniors winding up in the shelter system and children in supposedly “better neighbourhoods” showing up at school hungry. (And a great deal more.)

The pressures of poverty are corrosive and oppressive. There is an adverse impact on individuals and the entire community.

Our job is to help battle poverty and its impacts. To help kids be all they can be and to contribute to a healthier and more vibrant and prosperous community for all.

Our job is to help remove the oppressive nature of hopelessness.

Our job is to crack open the door to possibility.

When we’re able to present possibility into the life of an individual or a family, the energy that is unleashed is the fuel of a more prosperous community.

Poverty and its issues are many and complex.  Homelessness and housing insecurity, mental health challenges, food precarity, the need for counselling, children’s supports etc.., all are critical. Not one dealt with in isolation will provide sustainable progress.

All addressed in a cohesive fashion will produce material and transformative impacts.

That is the role of the United Way in Durham Region and our community Team Possibility members.

We know that nothing of great consequence can be achieved while acting in isolation. We know that scale contributes to meaningful and lasting change. And in the binary world of lasting vs. temporal there is only one right choice.

Helping those less fortunate is no longer simply a nice thing to do. It is a critical driver in community prosperity.

We’re grateful to all of our Team Possibility members. This includes our donors, our volunteers, our partners in small and medium sized and big business alike. And our agency partners, their staff and volunteers. As well including our friends in labour and friends in the public service and our students and retirees. Together, they contribute to possibility in the life of someone who may never know their name. But that’s okay. It’s not about recognition, it’s about helping.

We invite you to join us.

Thank you for being part of our ability to effect change for the better.

Together we are possibility.