Why I Give - United Way Donors at VIU

Donors give for different reasons -- some of those reasons are personal and some to simply help the community in general. VIU is home to many generous United Way donors, and each has their own story and reason why they have chosen to support the United Way. Here are just a few of those stories: 

Ardith Conlin

Human Resources Assistant

Ardith Conlin knows the importance of giving. She was always familiar with United Way, but didn’t understand its role in the community until her partner, Joe, was injured in a motor vehicle accident 15 years ago. The Nanaimo Brain Injury Society (NBIS), an organization funded by United Way, played a tremendous part in helping with Joe’s recovery.

“My donations are personal,” explains Ardith, “I started donating when I saw the wonderful work that the Nanaimo Brain Injury Society did, and United Way funds that program.” Ever since she experienced first-hand the support provided by NBIS, Ardith has been giving to United Way.

“I saw how far a donation of $20 per payday goes, and I wish people knew more about the programs United Way funds. People don’t realize that even a $5 donation every pay period makes a big difference in the long run.” For Ardith, VIU’s Payroll Deduction Program is an easy way to give back to the community.

Read more about why Ardith gives

Dr. Dave Witty

VIU Provost and VP Academic (retired)

Dr. Dave Witty was involved for many years with United Way in Winnipeg, his wife Marg was a Loaned Representative, and his family was engaged in annual giving; so when he moved to Nanaimo, he continued to give through VIU’s Employee Deduction Program.

Passionate about building a healthy Nanaimo, Dr. Witty feels strongly about supporting people in the community, but recognizes that it is difficult to assess which groups could best benefit from his donations. The United Way model ensures that gifts go to local agencies that need them the most, supporting programs that make the most difference in people’s lives. “United Way does this in a really non-judgmental way too,” said Witty, “It seeks to identify need in the community, and then marries need with giving.”

Dr. Witty is confident that United Way understands the complexities associated with becoming a healthy community that builds solutions and addresses needs, and believes that we can foster the tradition of employee giving here at VIU.

Read more about why Dr. Witty gives

Dr. Graham Pike

Dean of International Education

Dr. Graham Pike learned to give at a young age. His parents always contributed to community organizations, and growing up in England he was taught that, “it’s the right thing to do.”

Dr. Pike is conscious of the privilege he enjoys living here in Nanaimo, and is aware of the security that comes with having a full-time job and a nice home. “I've visited many places around the world where those don’t exist. The goals of trying to achieve greater levels of equity and social justice are very important to me, locally and globally. We have to work locally so that we can be effective globally.”

Working together, VIU and United Way diminish obstacles and prevent acute social problems such as poverty and homelessness. “It makes sense to have a local organization like United Way identify the needs of the community and focus on improving those needs.”

This is why he gives through the VIU Payroll Deduction Program. Dr. Pike acknowledges that our collective gifts can make an impact large enough to create a truly global community.

Read more about why Dr. Pike gives

Judy Scott

Technical Support Representative, Powell River Campus

The gifts that VIU employees contribute through the annual Payroll Deduction Program stay local; in Powell River, donations help United Way fund 12 different community programs.

Judy Scott appreciates the value of serving the community through such programs, and has some words of wisdom for employees who have not yet given: “Don’t be embarrassed by making a small donation – even $1 or $2 per paycheque really makes a difference, especially if everyone contributed.”

Read more about why Judy Scott gives

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