January Newsletter

At United Way Simcoe Muskoka, January brings with it a time of reflection and hope. We look back and reflect on 2023, which saw us launch a new strategic plan, create new partnerships, and continue our work to strengthen communities across the region. As we look to the future, we are filled with hope as we plan for a 2024 filled with new opportunities:

  • We have relaunched Youth United which will see us commit over $100,000 towards youth-led projects across our region
  • We have committed $2.1 million in funding over the next three years to community projects that will address poverty and promote social inclusion through new and innovative partnerships
  • We are in the planning stages of our second annual #Real2Reel Film Festival, that will see us screen a series of thought-provoking documentary films in Collingwood, Barrie, Muskoka, and Midland

For us to continue this good work in your community, we need your help.

Please consider supporting your United Way through one of the following opportunities:

We thank you for your ongoing support; here’s to strengthening communities together in 2024.

Gifts of Warmth 50/50 Raffle 

This is your chance to WIN BIG and SUPPORT YOUR UNITED WAY!

Purchase your tickets

Tickets will be available until 7 PM on February 24. Your contribution becomes a powerful force driving local initiatives, addressing poverty, empowering children, and fostering healthy communities. Join us in creating a profound and meaningful difference in communities across Simcoe Muskoka.

Licence # RAF1357276.

Coldest Night of the Year in Bradford

Step into the heart of Bradford on February 24 by participating in the Coldest Night of the Year 2024 walk. Your participation offers a beacon of hope for those in need, and there are various impactful ways to get involved:

  • ​​​​​​register for the walk (it’s free!)
  • join a team, champion fundraising efforts for your team
  • extend support to fellow walkers
  • explore exciting sponsorship opportunities.​​​​

This year we are partnering with our friends at Wow Living to help them raise much needed funds to support the hurting, hungry and homeless in Bradford. By participating in #CNOY24, you’re not just taking a walk; you’re taking a stand against poverty and you are making a tangible difference in the lives of those who need it most.
Join us in creating a meaningful impact this winter and be the change our community needs. Begin your journey by visiting: https://cnoy.org/location/bradford

*To learn more watch the video below

Your United Way in Action

Through multi-year collaborative projects focused on poverty reduction and social inclusion, United Way Simcoe Muskoka is mobilizing  collective action in our communities. Starting February 2024-2027 partnerships with over 30 organizations from the public, private, faith, and non-profit sectors will address food security, mental health, housing and income stability to create social impact.

1 in 5 people are spending more than 30% of their income on housing.

1 in 5 people experienced food insecurity

By age 40, 50% of the population will have or have had a mental illness. Most people will see their symptoms begin before age 18.

Each month we will take a closer look at each project to share how your local organizations are collaborating for a better Simcoe Muskoka.

Arts Immersion for Mental Health will connect individuals receiving mental health supports to the arts as a way to open doors and create opportunities for reconnecting to community

Creating Supportive Housing and Income Stability in Rural Simcoe County will provide pre-employment construction training to vulnerable individuals who will work with construction professionals to build affordable housing units

Finding Home will address critical issues that prevent abused women and their children from living a life free from violence in their own home

Getting Ahead Across Muskoka is a life-stabilization program for women, youth, and Indigenous people living on low-income in rural communities across Muskoka

Groundwork will provide vulnerable youth and adults with training, barrier-free mental health supports, mentorship, and safe employment opportunities

The Art Engagement Project will instill a sense of pride, belonging, and possibility among racialized youth through exposure to the arts

Mobile Youth Wellness Hub will provide outreach to youth in Muskoka through inclusive educational and recreational activities and supports

The People and Partners Behind United Way Simcoe Muskoka


We want to sincerely thank Kimberly-Clark for their generous donation of 65,200 boxes of Kleenex! WOW! Your United Way worked with Kimberly-Clark to distribute this incredible gift to 30 agencies across Simcoe Muskoka. We were happy to facilitate this large donation of an item that is now considered a small luxury for many. As inflation and food costs continue to rise, an item as simple as a box of Kleenex is being left off the grocery list of many.

“Thank you, Kimberly-Clark for your generous donation of Kleenex this holiday season. It came at the perfect time to distribute to our clients. At our food bank, Kleenex is rarely donated and we consider it as ‘luxury-item’ as we rarely have it, now we have enough to give all of our clients several boxes. Thank you for your generosity and kindness from everyone at the Alliston Food Bank.” – Jaime Karsch , Executive Director at the Alliston food Bank.

Employee Spotlight: Chantel Dalton, Program Manager 

We believe in investing in people and forming meaningful connections. We see ourselves as more than just a funder. We listen, we collaborate and we bring communities together. Here we’re pleased to introduce you to one of the amazing humans doing this work.

Chantel has worked at United Way Simcoe Muskoka for six years and says “As someone who thrives in a collective environment, I enjoy the collaborative team approach working at United Way Simcoe Muskoka. Working with talented and supportive colleagues makes each day more enjoyable.”

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