Leveraging Local Expertise

Local United Way Centraides (UWCs) are part of the fabric of the communities they serve. Each one has an intimate knowledge of the local issues and strong connections to local service networks.

Recognizing the value of this expertise, the Government of Canada selected United Way Centraide Canada as one of three organizations trusted to deliver the $350M Emergency Community Support Fund.

The efforts to flatten the curve of COVID-19 put community organizations in a tough spot – scrambling to deliver services under strict public health guidelines to an increasing number of people who needed help as traditional sources of fundraising dropped.

Our network of UWCs used their local understanding to make rapid, informed decisions to distribute funds that would provide emergency relief to those who need it most.

The most frequently funded service categories were social inclusion and learning, mental health and wellness, and food security. Additionally, this program prioritized equitable funding practices to ensure that organizations serving mostly Black, Indigenous, and people of colour – in response to the disproportionate impact of COVID on these communitites – were able to access funding.

Impact: Essential Support Sustained




average grant


projects funded serving vulnerable populations


of those projects were delivered by community partners new to the United Way Centraide network

truck icon

Primary Populations Served by Funded Projects

People with low income or living in poverty

person icon

Children and youth aged 0-18

person icon

Seniors and elders not in care

person icon

Children and youth: other vulnerable youth aged 19-29

person icon

People living with mental illness

person icon

Organizations Supported


First Community Garden Helps Provide Food Baskets to Those in Need

La Petite Maison de Pointe-Calumet created the first community garden and through working with partners, delivered more food baskets in their community.

Read More

Wellness Champion Program Developed for Islanders with Intellectual Disabilities

In response to COVID-19, the Special Olympics team transitioned to virtual programming and developed a wellness champion program.

Read More

Outreach Worker Walk-up Window

The new Saskatoon Public Library walk-up window increases accessibility and reduces barriers for users during COVID-19.

Read More

Government of Canada

Funded in part by the Government of Canada’s Emergency Community Support Fund.