Camosun and United Way working together on behalf of the community
Release Date: April 24, 2019
Camosun College alumna Alisha Dsouza is passionate about her community, her education and her charitable work. "I just love Camosun and United Way and living in Victoria," says the post-degree marketing graduate who came to Victoria from India three years ago to study at Camosun. "There are so many wonderful things in this community that connect to each other."
Two of those pillars, she explains, are Camosun College and United Way, organizations that have partnered together for decades to run an annual employee giving campaign with all proceeds to United Way and a community network of social services helping vulnerable individuals, families, children and youth. Over the past 25 years, generous Camosun employees have donated over $1.4 million to United Way and this past year reached their campaign goal of over $73,000.
For several months in fall 2018, Dsouza worked for Camosun’s United Way campaign as Assistant Campaign Associate, supporting Camosun’s United Way campaign committee to organise a number of exciting college events and fundraising activities ranging from bbqs and pancake breakfasts to Hallowe’en fundraisers and book sales. “I had a great time. Hitting our goal at the end was amazing,” says Dsousa. “We worked hard and had a plan, and slowly and surely everybody contributed. It was really exciting.”
“In many ways, the Camosun campaign puts the ‘fun’ in fundraising,” says United Way of Greater Victoria Board Chair and Camosun Communications and Marketing Strategist Ivan Watson. “It’s exciting to see the range of interactive activities that Camosun hosts to encourage employee giving and then to see the college community respond so generously with their donations. The need is great in the community and year after year, Camosun steps up to the plate and demonstrates their leadership and generosity.”
Dsousa notes that many of the skills she learned in her Camosun classes were put to good use for the college’s United Way campaign. “I learned so many things from Camosun, such as not shying away from reaching out to people, as well as when to take a back seat and let others lead,” she says. “My courses in project management and digital marketing helped with all the United Way events I was organising, the social media posts I coordinated and also the fact that I had built relationships with students and faculty. Everyone was willing to help and when I think about it, in so many ways, Camosun has shaped my journey in Canada and much of that practical learning also came from the Camosun United Way campaign.”
Today, Camosun College is up for three awards at the United Way’s annual spirit awards—a community celebration luncheon that recognises the organizations and individuals who run employee giving campaigns. The event is sponsored by Chemistry Consulting, so that donor money goes directly to where it is needed most. Camosun is nominated for awards in the categories of “Outstanding Workplace Campaign” and “Outstanding Campaign Committee” as well as in the traditional post-secondary challenge category that encourages a friendly rivalry between Camosun, Royal Roads and UVic.
Last year, Camosun won the coveted Post-Secondary Challenge Cup--for the fifth time in recent years--which is awarded annually to our region’s post secondary institution with the greatest improvement in employee participation and giving.
Looking back at the United Way campaign at Camosun, Dsousa is proud of what the college team achieved. “Part of my training was going out to different not for profit organizations in Victoria to understand where they money goes and how it helps,” she says. “Speaking with people who receive support and funding, helped me understand how the money we raise at Camosun makes a real difference to these organizations and to individuals. The Camosun campaign is so much more than dollars and cents, it’s about the community and how we are all connected.”
Near the end of her United Way campaign role, Dsousa was offered a job with a local marketing agency that specialises in non-profits. “It’s that positive ripple effect,” she says. “I got the job because I’d worked with United Way and had learned invaluable practical skills during my time at Camosun.”
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Last updated: April 25, 2019 8:59 am