Jennifer Downie

Team Saanich scores United Way win

Two employees at the District of Saanich got a United Way Spirit Award for running a massively successful workplace campaign

Two employees at the District of Saanich were honoured last month with a United Way Spirit Award for running a massively successful workplace campaign to support the Greater Victoria charity.

Brandy Rowan and Jennifer Downie, administrative assistants to the mayor and chief administrative officer, say that while they chaired the municipality’s campaign, it was a group effort that made it successful.

“Everyone was willing to pitch in. It wasn’t like pulling teeth,” Downie said.

“Our goal was just to get more information out about United Way and make sure that people were more educated, through presentations at the hall, at public works, the fire department, police department,” Rowan added.

Downie and Rowan received the Outstanding Employee Campaign Chair Spirit Award, recognizing outstanding leadership that resulted in significant growth in campaign results.

In 2012, Saanich employees raised $28,000. In 2013, that jumped to $42,000.

Money was raised by signing on 58 new donors, plus creative fundraising endeavours that involved upper management.

“We did a car wash – we had the mayor and CAO (Paul Murray) washing people’s cars. The mayor did an old, dirty van, and Paul had to wash someone’s bike,” Downie said.

The Saanich police chief and deputy chief also were willing to auction off their primo parking spots.

“What was done in the past wasn’t working. We tried to come up with ways to raise more money, create new ideas and get people excited,” Downie said.

Brittany Decker, director of community campaigns with the United Way Greater Victoria, said the two chairs did a “phenomenal job” engaging staff and getting them on board for the campaign.

“It’s so crazy how much they did. And they had a lot of fun, too. And they told their employees to come up with their own ideas,” she said. “They really looked at recruiting volunteers across the organization. It’s amazing how many people it takes to make this come to fruition.”

Decker said other organizations can take Saanich’s lead in ensuring their campaign is a success. That starts from the top and works its way down.

“One of the biggest things is they had support for the campaign at all levels, from the employees who work at job sites, right up to the mayor and CAO,” she said. “That’s really unique to Greater Victoria. We have such a close-knit community. It’s nice to see all levels of community and all levels of the municipality supportive of this campaign.”

Rowan said garnering support for the United Way wasn’t a hard sell in Saanich.

 

“(The United Way is) part of our community, it’s a part of Saanich. It’s important to the health and wellness of our community and social growth,” she said.

“It’s so crazy how much they did. And they had a lot of fun, too. And they told their employees to come up with their own ideas,” she said. “They really looked at recruiting volunteers across the organization. It’s amazing how many people it takes to make this come to fruition.”

 

Decker said other organizations can take Saanich’s lead in ensuring their campaign is a success. That starts from the top and works its way down.

“One of the biggest things is they had support for the campaign at all levels, from the employees who work at job sites, right up to the mayor and CAO,” she said. “That’s really unique to Greater Victoria. We have such a close-knit community. It’s nice to see all levels of community and all levels of the municipality supportive of this campaign.”

Rowan said garnering support for the United Way wasn’t a hard sell in Saanich.

 

“(The United Way is) part of our community, it’s a part of

Saanich. It’s important to the health and wellness of our community and social growth,” she said.

“It’s a great organization to support.”

 

 

The United Way raised $5.8 million from workplace drives and individual donors during its annual campaign. The money will be used to support community programs through more than 100 local agencies.

 

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

PHOTOS: A morning in a physically-distanced Victoria

Residents commute in a pandemic-changed city

‘Someone knows something’: a look into Vancouver Island missing persons with interactive map

There are more than three dozen people listed as missing throughout Vancouver Island

Saanich bylaw sparks EV charging infrastructure requirements in new builds

All new developments to be EV-charger compatible starting Sept. 1

Summer program helps Greater Victoria teens sharpen writing skills

Registration for the program runs until Aug. 17

Langford cuts red tape, engages in random acts of kindness to uplift spirits

‘I Am Langford’ campaign promotes supporting local

QUIZ: Are you ready for a summer road trip?

How much do you really know about roads, motor vehicles and car culture? Take this quiz to find out.

Genetic detectives begin work to trace spread of COVID-19 in Canada

The kinds of genetic technology being used for this project did not exist when SARS hit Canada in 2003

Sports fishers protest Fraser River Chinook closures

Public Fishery Alliance wants hatchery fish open for harvest

B.C. Ferries increasing passenger capacity after COVID-19 restrictions

Transport Canada 50-per-cent limit being phased out, no current plans to provide masks

Shellfish industry get funds to clean up at Island sites and beyond

Businesses can apply to cover half of costs to clean up so-called ‘ghost gear’

Amber Alert for two Quebec girls cancelled after bodies found

Romy Carpentier, 6, Norah Carpentier, 11, and their father, Martin Carpentier, missing since Wednesday

B.C. man prepares to be first to receive double-hand transplant in Canada

After the surgery, transplant patients face a long recovery

Grocers appear before MPs to explain decision to cut pandemic pay

Executives from three of Canada’s largest grocery chains have defended their decision to end temporary wage increases

Bringing support to Indigenous students and communities, while fulfilling a dream

Mitacs is a nonprofit organization that operates research and training programs

Most Read