United Way Halton & Hamilton Delivers Holiday Joy and Support through Holiday Helping Hand Program

By Staff

December 19th, 2023



 In a year marked by surges in inflation, economic pressures, heightened poverty rates, and escalating mental health challenges, many in our community are grappling with increased needs this holiday season.

RBC Team part of the Helping Hand project.

United Way Halton & Hamilton’s (UWHH) Holiday Helping Hand program brought together 14 local social service agencies, working collectively to make the season brighter for those in need. United Way successfully engaged community members in volunteer opportunities, fulfilled holiday wish lists, and gathered essential items such as toys, clothing, and non- perishable food items for individuals and families facing challenges.

Brad Park: President and CEO of United Way Halton & Hamilton.

“This past holiday season posed unprecedented challenges for many families and individuals in our community,” emphasized Brad Park, President and CEO of United Way Halton & Hamilton. “The weight of economic challenges, housing and food insecurity, and mental health struggles have deepened the need in our community, putting our agency partners under significant strain.”

Thanks to generous community members, UWHH supported 12 holiday projects that included over 105 volunteer opportunities through the Holiday Helping Hand program. Community members rallied together to help fill volunteer opportunities such as sorting and packing community food bags for Food For Life Halton & Hamilton and stuffing holiday stockings for Community Living Burlington.

Over 112 families and individuals across Burlington, Halton Hills, Hamilton, Milton, and Oakville were sponsored through the program, ensuring they received the support they needed during the holidays. The program supports community members from young families with infants, to single elderly individuals, and all ages in between, including community members living with disabilities and newcomers.

OPP Toy Drive, was held at Toys R Us on Hamilton Mountain. This year’s toy drive raised over $32,500 worth of toys.

One of the volunteer opportunities for this year, the OPP Toy Drive, was held at Toys R Us on Hamilton Mountain. The OPP mobile command center was on-site, encouraging the community to fill it with toys in support of United Way’s Holiday Helping Hand program. This year’s toy drive raised over $32,500 worth of toys. Energetic volunteers collected toys and added them to the cruiser, urging shoppers to purchase toys for families in need. Toys will be distributed to children across Hamilton & Halton.

“This year’s program was a tremendous success, thanks to the support of our generous community members. Their contributions not only supported the most vulnerable but also assisted our agency partners in meeting the growing demand,” said Brad Park. “We are immensely grateful for the dedication and compassion shown by our community volunteers. This program would not be possible without them.”

As a community, it is critical that we acknowledge that the need for social services remains urgent. Over 68% of the 106 United Way-supported programs have reported a substantial surge in demand, underscoring the pressing nature of the challenges faced by our community members. The fact that nearly half of United Way-supported programs currently maintain waitlists highlights the ongoing struggle for individuals and families seeking crucial support.

With the gifts put together – the task now is to deliver them.

It is not too late to make a difference. This year, we urge you to consider giving to United Way Halton & Hamilton. Whether you’ve been giving for years or are considering your first gift, now is the time to join this journey and create lasting change. And this year, your gift holds even more power with our Local Love Community Match.

For every $4 you donate, an additional $1 will be added to your gift by generous community members and organizations. This amplifies your impact, addressing local challenges, supporting families, and empowering individuals in Halton & Hamilton.

Please visit us online to learn more and to donate, www.uwhh.ca.

About United Way Halton & Hamilton

 United Way Halton & Hamilton (UWHH) is committed to leading measurable, impactful change by identifying the most challenging issues in our community, and bringing together people and resources to address those issues. We connect volunteers with local needs, and offer training and operational support to local charities. Along with our network of partners and experts, UWHH conducts research and works with key stakeholders to generate support for the not-for- profit sector. Each dollar raised is invested right back into the community to address the long- term recovery of its vital social safety net. Last year, UWHH helped 143,562 residents across Halton and Hamilton, who relied on 106 United Way-supported programs for life changing services.




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