Central Alberta United Way campaign kicks off

Four-month campaign raises money for 35 programs and services

United Way ambassador Amanda Burt helped kick off this year’s fundraising campaign by sharing her story of perseverance following a 2015 collision that left her with a severe brain injury.

Burt was 17 when her small car was T-boned by a three-quarter-ton pickup truck at a rural intersection near Lacombe. The impact sent her car 50 metres into a nearby field.

Burt’s brain injury was so severe, she had to learn to eat, walk and talk again.

Despite many dark days, she has kept going and offered an inspirational message to all facing their own challenges.

“The best thing that could have happened to me happened to me — I was alive,” she said before a packed audience Thursday.

Burt said she is still discovering how beautiful life can be. She has new appreciation for the laughter of a baby, the fresh smell after a rain or the warm sun on her skin.

She credits the United Way and Catholic Social Services for helping her during some of the hardest times.

“They showed me that my life was not over,” she said.

“Yes, my life has changed. That doesn’t mean I still can’t make it beautiful,” said Burt, who is trying to raise funds for a service dog through her Facebook page.

The theme of this year’s United Way’s campaign is #Unignorable.

“This year’s campaign is all about creating scenarios where we create conversations around unignorable social issues within central Alberta,” said Brett Speight, CEO of United Way Central Alberta.

Last year, $2 million was raised, but the campaign is not about dollar goals, but about having an impact on as many people as possible, said Speight.

“Last year, we impacted 15,000 lives in central Alberta and, obviously, we would like to see that number grow.”

Around 20 ambassadors, like Burt, have volunteered to tell their compelling stories and show how the money raised has helped people during the four-month campaign to collect funds to support more than 35 programs and services.

“It’s so encouraging and empowering and really helps tell our story.”

Among the strategies this year is reaching out to younger professionals and encouraging them to get involved in social issues. A millennial/GenX group of United Way volunteers will be leading the way.

To donate to United Way, go to www.caunitedway.ca.



pcowley@reddeeradvocate.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Provincial watchdog probes often don’t lead to charges against police

An analysis of data from civilian police watchdogs in Canada shows that… Continue reading

Brazilian cowboy to finish trek from Alaska to Calgary with Stampede honour

CALGARY — Brazilian long rider Filipe Masetti Leite is almost at the… Continue reading

Red Deer remains at two active COVID-19 cases

Alberta confirms 94 new cases over past two days

City of Red Deer is reviewing audit of Westerner Park’s operations

A road map to sustainability is needed, says city official

Red Deer Museum + Art Gallery has re-opened

Central Albertans can now take in some history and culture at the… Continue reading

‘This year is unlike any other’: Trudeau delivers Canada day address

Sophie Gregoire Trudeau and the Prime Minister release video celebrating the national holiday

Michael Dawe: Canada Day festivities have been interfered with before

Because of the restrictions imposed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic,… Continue reading

Save-On-Foods stores donate to Red Deer Food Bank

Thanks to some hungry central Albertans, the Red Deer Food Bank is… Continue reading

Canadian engineer released from Egypt needs treatment, family says

Canadian engineer released from Egypt needs treatment, family says

Inquiry into mass shooting in Nova Scotia facing delays due to ‘technicalities’

Inquiry into mass shooting in Nova Scotia facing delays due to ‘technicalities’

Quebec tractor driver charged after accident kills three children, injures seven

Quebec tractor driver charged after accident kills three children, injures seven

Military member arrested after truck rammed gate near Trudeau residence: RCMP

Military member arrested after truck rammed gate near Trudeau residence: RCMP

UK to end quarantine for travellers from ‘low-risk’ countries

UK to end quarantine for travellers from ‘low-risk’ countries

Officials: Students in Alabama threw COVID contest parties

Officials: Students in Alabama threw COVID contest parties

Most Read