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United Way Calgary launches annual fundraising drive to #DoLocalGood

More than 2,000 Calgarians joined together to begin a campaign to #DoLocalGood as the United Way of Calgary and Area kicked off their annual fundraising drive.

This year’s push, which launched around noon hour in Calgary at Olympic Plaza following a march down Stephen Avenue, focuses on what they’re coining as #unignorable social issues, pushing the social media hashtag to boost their efforts this year.

“Issues like hunger, affordable housing, mental health and addictions, domestic violence, and early foundational supports critical to kids’ success are often thought of as someone else’s problem – but they’re not,” said Karen Young, United Way’s President and CEO, in a prepared release.

“These are very real issues that thousands of individuals are struggling to overcome every day that impact us as a city. These are community issues that require community solutions.”

This year’s campaign co-chairs, Noralee Bradley, partner at Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP and David Smith, President and CEO of Keyera Corp, spoke about corporate social responsibility and how everyone working together in the city can make a big difference.

The crowd illustrated this by throwing 1,000 red balls into the Olympic Plaza fountain to show what happens when the collective effort of many can have an impact.

There’s no stated financial goal this year, but United Way officials hope Calgarians can come together in any way to help, whether that’s time, money or community effort.

“As Calgarians, we all play a role in creating a resilient and caring community where everyone thrives,” said Young. “We are incredibly grateful to our partners, donors, and volunteers who work with us to create positive, lasting social change. We are all in this together.”

Thursday’s event had music from Juno winner DJ Shub and a lunch provided by the Rotary Club of Calgary.

The United Way helps bring together and guide the efforts of donors, agencies, government and corporations to deliver services to more than 150,000 people annually.