Joy met Arlene on Arlene’s fifteenth birthday. It’s a day she’ll never forget. “I remember how excited she was, all dressed up in her best clothes,” Joy reflects.
At the time, Arlene was being raised by a single parent. In our community, lone-parent families are often living on a low income. For Arlene’s family and many others, meeting basic needs is the main priority and extras don’t exist.
Joy and Arlene started meeting for coffee and ‘girl talk.’ They would also attend monthly activities with other Big & Little Sisters and Brothers. Every so often they went on movie dates, joined by Ted, the man who is now Joy’s husband.
Joy and Ted were there for all the big moments in Arlene’s life. They attended her high school graduation, and watched with pride as she received her Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing. And when Arlene got married, Joy and Ted escorted her mother to the wedding.
“For both of us, this friendship is for life. After 27 years, we are still close,” Joy says.
“Without United Way, this friendship wouldn’t exist. Unrestricted funding from United Way provides opportunity for the resources to be used where they are needed most – to pay for marketing, volunteer recruitment, social and case workers, or even operational expenses.”
At United Way of Saskatoon and Area, helping children and youth grow into healthy adults is one of our key focuses. We invest in mentorship experiences to help children and youth feel confident in school. As a result, they are less likely to engage in negative behavior. Studies have shown that mentored youth graduate from high school at a rate 20% higher than the national average.
Joy’s story is #aUnitedWin, and it would not be possible without your support.
Together, we are changing lives. Please give to United Way’s Community Campaign and help us keep the momentum going.