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Lee's Story
The Good Life

Known as “the famous one” in her community, Lee’s smile and energy are contagious. Always looking for a hug, she loves being connected to others.

At 35, Lee lives with her parents, but with the help of United Way supported programs, she is expanding her sense of independence and connection to her community. She has learned life skills ranging from ordering in a restaurant, to using public transportation and she’s now a weekly fixture at bowling, crafting and bingo events. A Special Olympian, Lee has a strong drive to stay active and engaged. She’s doing that in part by taking on a number of jobs including serving as a receptionist for two community agencies.

Lee, however, isn’t the only person in her family to benefit from United Way supported programs. Lee reports that when she is out participating in a program, her parents “get to sit back with their feet up and watch T.V., just like other moms and dads.”

Knowing what United Way supported programs have done for her family, Lee is passionate about giving those same kinds of opportunities to other people in her community. Unfortunately, the drop-in programs she attends have long waitlists. That inspired Lee to become a United Way volunteer so she could play a role in helping her “friends learn life skills to.” She has made more than 100 presentations in the community, to tell the story of what she calls her “good life” and the role that community supports plays in making that life. “We can make more room,” she says, “if we raise more money. That’s why I love helping United Way.


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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.”