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A winner at the game of life
Cindy sees obstacles as new opportunities for a win

“As a person with an intellectual disability, it’s not always so easy for me to reach out to others. Yet, I know I have much to offer because I am sociable, friendly, and cheerful. It’s important for me to have friendships. I have to overcome other obstacles because of my diminished vision and partial paralysis, , but I find ways to look after my personal needs.

That is why I rely on the services of the agency affiliated with United Way . They help me with social interaction, learning and, of course, recreation! My favourite activities are bingo, karaoke, and outings, such as restaurants and bowling. When I play, I like to win.

But I can be a winner in other ways too. Through the activities, I am recognized for my initiative and engagement and for taking on personal challenges. I can go beyond expectations. It shows that I have stick-to-it-iveness.

Since joining the program, I have gained more confidence. Before, I was too shy to ask for help. Today, I am learning to communicate with others, to say things in the right way and to apply my filters. With the organization, I feel safe.

It was tough during the pandemic when I couldn’t go outside. I felt isolated even though I could talk to my friends on the phone. I want to urge donors to continue to give so that the agency can keep offering help. United Way supports the agency’s services, and I can go there to have more control over my life. Thank you for helping and giving me the chance to tell my story.”


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“I started my relationship with the agency four years ago. I was attending a program to learn about computers and someone suggested I could have lunch at the senior’s centre in the same building as the school. I was served delicious lunches and was able to participate in activities. The centre gives seniors a sense of independence and a chance to have a social life. They make them feel important.
As a newcomer, Sebastian found himself struggling in school and trying to learn English. Now, five years later, he is volunteering at the United Way-supported agency and serving as a leader to newcomers arriving today. His family emigrated from there home country when Sebastian was seven. “It was because of the state my country was in. It wasn’t the greatest in terms of safety. We were shot at one day when going to my grandma’s house, and I think that’s what led my parents to finally make the decision to immigrate.”