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Our 2023-24 Annual Report is now live: A message from Dennise Taylor-Gilhen

2 MIN READ

As social challenges persist across our region, I am buoyed by the tireless efforts of our volunteers and donors, who remain steadfast in their commitment to making our communities better every day. 

At United Way East Ontario, we understand the toll that cost-of-living increases and an ongoing mental health crisis continues to take on vulnerable people. We also know the folks working to uplift these individuals are facing similar stressors, all while demand for their services is constantly rising. 

But in the face of these circumstances, we’re finding new ways to make positive changes in the lives of those who need us most. 

This report offers an opportunity to look at how your support of United Way East Ontario makes a measurable difference. I hope it allows you to connect more deeply with your community, and the solutions we’re fueling to make it stronger every day. 

Dennise Taylor-Gilhen

More than ever before, we’re using collaboration to tackle chronic issues. We convene with our agency and community partners to learn about the most pressing problems facing our region and we work closely with them to invest in long-term, sustainable solutions. We also bring leaders from various sectors to the table to share information, contribute resources, align around a common goal, and amplify the stories of success.   

In 2023, we brought together leaders in the healthcare sector to talk about how support for social and community services can reduce the strain on hospital wait times. 

We increased our advocacy efforts through conversations with government leaders, to address the ongoing housing crisis and homelessness. 

We had the honour of highlighting the incredible work led by organizations across our region to combat gender-based violence. We have since seen governments take steps to recognize this epidemic and implement solutions championed in our local communities. 

All the while, we managed to respond quickly when new crises emerged. When violence escalated in the Middle East, we spoke with local Jewish, Palestinian, and Muslim communities to assess their needs and ensure anyone who needed it had access to barrier-free, low-cost, culturally-appropriate mental health services. 

The obstacles we face in providing services to those in distress may be greater than ever, but by using all the tools at our disposal, we deliver results. 

And it’s never too late to join us.  

We see the polarization and seemingly deepening divisions within our communities, but we know there are also so many folks who see what is happening in their neighbourhoods and want to be part of the solution. 

Working alongside our dedicated staff and volunteers, and with our donors by our side, I’m proud and excited for what our future holds. 

In the coming year, we will continue to meet with our partners, as well as leaders at all levels of government, to identify where needs are the greatest and work to find ways to address them. We will continue to strengthen the social fabric of our region through anti-hate activism, and showcase how innovative our sector is in the face of change. 

The toughest challenges facing our neighbours take more than just one person, organization, or sector to solve. With your continued support we can continue to improve lives and create opportunities for those who depend on us. 

With gratitude,

Dennise Taylor-Gilhen 
Interim President and Chief Executive Officer 
United Way East Ontario 

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