SFU and United Way – A local love story

March 15, 2021

By Abigail Pena

For more than a decade, SFU and the United Way of the Lower Mainland have partnered to fundraise and help United Way provide important services in the communities we live in. Each year, SFU hosts a fundraising campaign in the fall term and invites the SFU community to participate in a number of engaging events to build awareness of issues in our communities, the services the United Way provides and fundraise to support those in need.

The past year has come with unprecedented circumstances and a growing need. The spread of the COVID-19 virus has caused devastating impacts, not only in our communities but around the world, and the SFU community continues to support those in need.

Thanks to the generosity of SFU students, staff and faculty – SFU’s United Way Campaign raised almost $80,000 to aid local communities. An important part of the campaign with many SFU staff members who chose to contribute through payroll deduction.

"United Way's work has been critical during the pandemic, as communities are feeling more disconnected than ever and require additional services,” says Joanne Curry, SFU vice president of external relations. “We are glad to continue our special partnership with United Way to support communities when they are most in need."

SFU hosted several successful virtual events, including the faculty smackdown event - a fun, light-hearted debate (for the first time the smackdown was offered twice). United by Coffee, another fundraising event, saw $1 go to SFU’s fundraising goal from every coffee sold at Renaissance Coffee and Starbucks’ UniverCity location. The fundraiser was held over one week in January and raised $800. Rounding out this year’s campaign was a safe and active outdoor event, Climb Up, where members of the SFU community explored local trails and walked 28,300 steps in the span of 10 days and participants fundraised by inviting loved ones to donate.

To learn more about SFU’s United Way campaign: