Uniting to Make a Difference
“Every day, in every neighbourhood across this city in ways you know and ways you might never even imagine, you, Toronto Police Service – in partnership with United Way – are transforming lives in entire neighbourhoods,” said United Way Greater Toronto Zanotti, using the example of ensuring victims of domestic violence escape abuse and find a safe place in a United Way-funded shelter. “Your partnership, decades long, is an investment in a United Way, not one agency or one program, but the best social return on an investment.”
Toronto Police raised $230,000 this year’s for United Way.
Insp. Greg Watts, dressed as Santa Claus, joined Supt. Reuben Stroble, the Service’s Campaign Chair, Toronto Police Association President Mike McCormack and Toronto Police Services Board (TPSB) Chair Jim Hart in presenting the cheque to United Way Greater Toronto President and Chief Executive Officer Daniele Zanotti at police headquarters on December 10.
Stroble thanked Service members who took the time to take part in the many events and donated their time and money to a worthy cause.
This year, TPS were the first public service organization campaign to introduce a new portal to manage employee giving.
“We also trained 65 new Ambassadors and enrolled 80 new donors and five new leaders,” he added. “We had a great turnout for the CN Tower Stair Climb, raising $3,000.”
The TPSB donated $10,000 from its Special Fund to the campaign.
“As a Board, we very much support the fine work of this outstanding organization,” said Hart.
He thanked Service members for their invaluable donation to the campaign.
“It is through your generosity that the United Way is able to offer its services, year after year, to those who need them,” added Hart. “The men and women of the Toronto Police Service are second to none. The care and compassion that you demonstrate in your daily work translates to care and compassion for others through your support of the United Way.”
McCormack pledged that the TPA will increase its donation by $5,000 to $10,000 on the spot.
The Service’s campaign started in September with a fun and energetic kick-off in the Service’s courtyard followed by the work of a 67-member volunteer Ambassador team who helped spread the word.
Funds were raised through payroll donations as well as grassroots events like book and bake sales as well as an online auction and the CN Tower climb, said Campaign Training Chair Court Supervisor Melissa Gibson.
“Morale was raised, fun was had and people came together in social situations to hear about the United Way and all they do for the communities in which we live and work,” said Gibson. “It has been a great campaign and we are incredibly proud of the work that our Ambassadors have done this year. There was a real energy among the group that we know is going to mean even greater experiences and results moving forward.”
A special presentation was made to Kathy LeBarr, the face of the Service’s United Way campaign for 19 years, who is retiring early next year.Zanetti said LeBarr has been a leader for the organization.
"She is a United Way legend," he said. "We will miss her on the campaign."
LeBarr says she will continue to help the United Way Greater Toronto in her retirement.