United Way job of a lifetime

December 02, 2004, vol. 31, no. 7
By Julie Ovenell-Carter

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It's been a four-month high that Christine MacIntosh wishes would last a lifetime.

In August, MacIntosh set aside her responsibilities as a production assistant in the learning and instructional development centre to serve as SFU's loaned representative to this year's United Way campaign. The experience has turned out to be a highlight of her working career.

A long-time donor, she wanted to get more involved with an organization she describes as “the connective tissue behind healthy communities. Eighty per cent of the dollars invested by the United Way go toward preventative programs,” she notes. “The United Way isn't just there for people in crisis. It benefits everybody in a community, on so many levels.”

Working as part of a provincial division team, MacIntosh set out to raise money and awareness at three Lower Mainland businesses: the British Columbia Automobile Association, Prospera Credit Union, and Deas Pacific Marine. Her supervisors credit her effort and enthusiasm for increasing United Way participation at BCAA by 200 per cent.

“I think once you help people to see how all of us are so closely connected in life and how one simple act of generosity ripples out in the community in so many unexpected ways, then you motivate them to get more involved.”

MacIntosh, whose United Way shift ends Dec. 13, urges her SFU colleagues to become more active in the United Way campaign in coming years. “There are lots of wonderful volunteer opportunities available and they don't take any more time than reading the paper or having a cup of coffee.”

SFU's campus community raised $120,000 for the United Way this year, and although the fundraising campaign ended on Nov. 19, it's never too late to make a pledge. For more information, visit SFU United Way or e-mail United-Way@sfu.ca.

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