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United Way Haldimand Norfolk Announces New Executive Director

January 24, 2022

 The United Way Haldimand Norfolk’s Board of Directors is pleased to announce that George Araujo will join the organization as its newest Executive Director. 

“We are delighted that George is joining our United Way team and bringing his leadership, energy, and wealth of experience”, said Haley McIntosh, president of the United Way Board of Directors. 

A long-time resident of Port Dover, George comes to United Way having worked the past 18 years with the Norfolk County Agricultural Society, and 7 years as their General Manager. As a champion for the Norfolk County Fair & Horseshow, George has led the team through multiple fairs and events while continually building a positive profile for the organization. 

“I am thrilled to be joining United Way and working with our agency partners and our committed donors to find solutions and drive change. We are better when we work together and it is through this collective impact that we build stronger communities”, said George Araujo. 

The United Way of Haldimand Norfolk, through the local non-profit agencies it supports, advocates to improve mental well-being, find solutions for financial stability, and create a brighter future for youth in the communities they serve. With the investment from their dedicated donors, in 2021 they helped over 19,500 individuals build better lives. 

[email protected] 
United Way of Haldimand and Norfolk 
(519) 426-5660 

United Way Announces 2021 Living Wage of $17.35 for Haldimand and Norfolk

United Way Announces 2021 Living Wage of $17.35 for Haldimand and Norfolk

November 1, 2021

What does it take for a family of four to live comfortably in Haldimand and Norfolk County? That’s the question United Way of Haldimand and Norfolk wanted to answer in 2021. Adhering to the principles and methodology of the Canadian Living Wage Framework, United Way calculated the 2021 hourly Living Wage for Haldimand and Norfolk to be $17.35. This is an increase of $0.77 from the Haldimand Norfolk Living Wage in 2019.

The Living Wage is the hourly wage a worker needs to earn to cover their family’s basic everyday expenses, such as food, housing, utilities, childcare and transportation. The Living Wage was calculated based on a family composition consisting of two 35-year old parents working full-time for 35 hours per week, one 7-year old child who attends school and before and after school care and one 3-year old in childcare full-time year round. Different from the Minimum Wage which is provincially set, the Living Wage is locally formulated. The costs used to calculate the Living Wage for Haldimand and Norfolk have come from local sources based on expenses in this community. The Minimum Wage, which is currently $14.35/hour, does not take into account the basic needs to maintain a healthy, sustainable life. While the Minimum Wage is adjusted for inflation in Ontario, the Living Wage is adjusted regularly to take into consideration cost of living increases and changes.

A Living Wage means families can make ends meet and don’t have to choose between groceries, medical/dental expenses or rent. It means they can participate in community activities, like putting their kids into sports. What the Living Wage doesn’t include is credit card payments, loan or debt interest, savings for retirement, owning a home, savings for children’s future education, pets, or the cost of caring for loved ones with serious illnesses or disabilities. The Living Wage does not include anything other than the smallest cushion for emergencies or hard times.

“Over the past year we have seen a drastic increase in the costs to live in our community, spanning from the housing market to the cost of groceries,” stated Brittany Burley, Executive Director of United Way of Haldimand and Norfolk. “Having an updated Living Wage is an important piece of information for our community to better understand what it takes to be able to afford to live here. It’s important to note that the Living Wage is calculated using the average rental price for a 3-bedroom apartment of $1,018, as it takes into consideration rentals that may have been lived in for decades and have more affordable rates. A new family moving into the community would be hard-pressed to find a rental at that rate, which means they would need to earn even more than the Living Wage to survive in Haldimand and Norfolk.”

When asked why it was important for United Way of Haldimand and Norfolk to calculate the Living Wage, Burley responded, “One of our key focus areas is ‘From Poverty to Possibility’ and we believe knowing how much it costs to survive in our community is an important first step to reducing poverty. There are a lot of people out there working Minimum Wage jobs struggling to survive and it’s not because they are making poor financial decisions; it’s because the Minimum Wage is not enough to live on.”

Communities that have already implemented the Living Wage have found it to be beneficial to employers by improving recruitment, employee retention, increased productivity and morale and reduced retraining expenses. For workers, it reduced the need to work multiple jobs to pay bills, reduced stress of financial pressures, provided opportunities for skills training to further employment opportunities, improved nutrition, and raised the standards of living and quality of life. The community benefitted by raising consumer spending locally, increased local participation, and lowered child poverty rates.

United Way of Haldimand and Norfolk would like to thank Cassidy Robinson for her help on the project, as well as the Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit.

2022-2023 Funding Applications Now Open

United Way of Haldimand and Norfolk Opens 2022-2023 Funding Applications for Non-Profits

October 25, 2021 – For Immediate Release

United Way of Haldimand and Norfolk is now accepting funding applications from non-profit organizations for the 2022-2023 funding year. Funding is available for programs targeting their three main focus areas: All That Kids Can Be, From Poverty to Possibility, and Healthy People, Strong Communities. Funding is open to non-profit organizations serving the communities of Haldimand, Norfolk, and the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation.

Applications for funding will be accepted up until Friday, January 14, 2022 at 4:00 PM. Please note that United Way funding must go directly to registered charitable organizations.

United Way funding decisions are community driven and community focused. Each year a group of local volunteers representing various sectors in Haldimand and Norfolk form the Allocations Committee. Using their knowledge and first-hand experience, they allocate funds to the programs that will meet the most urgent needs of our community.

United Way Application Documents

Stuff the Bus Helps 535 Local Students

United Way of Haldimand and Norfolk’s Stuff the Bus Program Helps 535 Local Students

September 20 – For Immediate Release

With the help of the community, United Way of Haldimand and Norfolk was able to provide new school supplies to 535 students. Supplies were delivered one week prior to the beginning of the 2021-2022 school year to help children across Haldimand, Norfolk, and the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation. A parent whose children received supplies shared their story, “I’ve never been in this position before, not being able to get supplies for my child. I really appreciate that she is able to start a new year fully prepared with supplies. Thank you so much!” A grade five student upon picking up their supplies exclaimed, “Wow! I can’t believe we get to pick from all this stuff!”

Stuff the Bus has been running for four years in Haldimand and Norfolk. Robert Weber, Principal of Houghton Public School, shares his experience, “I have been involved with the program for many years. It is well organized. I love it.” Weber states, “We often have new registrants that have no contact with the school. Sometimes they just show up to attend without anything with them. We have a spot where we line up the backpacks and the students can “shop” for what they like. This is a really nice inclusive, barrier-breaking opportunity.”

Brittany Burley, Executive Director of United Way of Haldimand and Norfolk, adds “I would like to extend my heartfelt thanks to our community for their incredible support. For our fourth year in a row, we have been able to provide supplies to every student that has requested them. This would not be possible without the extensive support of our community members, groups, and our local businesses.”

United Way of Haldimand and Norfolk would like to thank the following groups and businesses for their support; Dover Coast Community, Don Hyde Marine, Faith Centennial United Church, FirstOntario Credit Union, Garnet United Church, Groundswell Coworking, Imperial, Klassic Coconut, Libro Credit Union, Norfolk Community Help Centre, Norview Lodge, OPP (Haldimand and Norfolk), RBC, Scotlynn Group, Sharp Bus Lines, Shelter Cove Community, Simcoe Natural Foods, Swiss Chalet/Harvey’s, TD Bank, Toyotetsu, True Experience, Waterford Chamber of Commerce (Barry Malcolm), Zen Country Wellness, and many anonymous donors. Finally, an extra special thank you to volunteer Katrina Beattie who was instrumental to this year’s success.

Stuff the Bus will take place again next fall to continue ensuring that children have the supplies that they need to succeed in school. If you’d like to be involved, please contact us at [email protected] or 519-426-5660.

Stuff the Bus Needs You to Help Local Children

United Way’s Stuff the Bus Program Needs You to Help Local Children

August 3, 2021 – For Immediate Release

Stuff the Bus is an annual program run by United Way of Haldimand and Norfolk that provides school supplies to children in need. The program supports over 600 children and youth annually. United Way is requesting community support to donate school supplies for the program. Requested items include backpacks, markers, crayons, pencils, erasers, calculators, glue sticks, and more. Supplies will be collected up until August 20th.

Donated supplies can be dropped off in Haldimand at Don Hyde Marine (4075 Highway 6, Hagersville), and True Experience (201 Forest Street East, Dunnville) or in Norfolk at FirstOntario Credit Union (107 Queensway East, Simcoe), Simcoe Natural Foods (479 Queensway West, Simcoe), Barry Malcolm CFP (71 Thompson Road, Waterford) and Norfolk Community Help Centre (505 Fairground Road, Langton). If you wish to donate and are unable to access the drop-off locations, reach out to United Way at [email protected].

Family members that are interested in receiving supplies from the Stuff the Bus program are encouraged to contact their children’s schools to let them know they would like to participate. United Way sorts the supplies and drops them off directly at the schools one week prior to the start of the school year, allowing families to pick up the supplies beforehand. All schools in the Grand Erie District School Board and Brant Haldimand Norfolk Catholic District School Board have access to the program. Families attending other schools should contact United Way directly. 

“It has been a very challenging year for students trying to learn during the pandemic,” states Brittany Burley, Executive Director of United Way of Haldimand and Norfolk. “While there is still uncertainty about what the next school year looks like, we do know that the children in our community are still going to need school supplies, whether they are attending school in-person or online. Our community has been incredibly supportive of the Stuff the Bus program over the years, and we hope that we can count on that continued support.”

Stuff the Bus is running for its fourth year in Haldimand and Norfolk. Due to the success of the program, Brant United Way is partnering with United Way of Haldimand and Norfolk to expand Stuff the Bus across schools in Brant County and Brantford. Brant United Way will be doing separate fundraising. All supplies donated in Haldimand and Norfolk will stay in Haldimand and Norfolk.

In regards to the new partnership, Daniel Rankin, Executive Director of Brant United Way, stated, “Brant United Way is excited to partner on the Stuff the Bus program. In working with United Way of Haldimand and Norfolk, we can ensure that all of the students at Grand Erie District School Board and Brant Haldimand Norfolk Catholic District School Board have an equal opportunity to access support.”

If you would like to collect supplies for Stuff the Bus as a workplace or a community group, please contact United Way directly for more information at [email protected]. Cash donations are gratefully accepted at To direct your funds to the Stuff the Bus program, write “Stuff the Bus” in the comments section when making your donation.

United Way Takes a Stand Against Cyberbullying

United Way of Haldimand and Norfolk Takes a Stand Against Cyberbullying

May 11, 2021 – For Immediate Release

In a world that has required us to move online, there is no escape from cyberbullying. United Way of Haldimand and Norfolk has partnered with Norfolk County Mayor Kristal Chopp and Grand Erie District School Board to spread awareness of cyberbullying and provide tips on how to help children experiencing it. Cyberbullying happens when technology is used to embarrass, threaten, or harass another person online. It is often done anonymously, which can create fear and distrust when the victim doesn’t know who is attempting to cause them harm. Victims of cyberbullying may experience feelings of anger, sadness, or anxiety that can lead to depression, eating disorders, chronic stress, and other health ailments.

Kristal Chopp, Mayor of Norfolk County, provides personal insight on her experience with cyberbullying. Upon starting her career in politics, Chopp says, “The cyberbullying started immediately. Since being elected, one man plead guilty to uttering death threats to me and others spend their days posting blatant lies about me across various social media platforms. Some of them hide behind fake profiles, so I don’t even know who is targeting me. Eventually the abuse became so repetitive and so offensive that it was eating me alive.”

After enduring years of cyber harassment, Chopp had the following to say about how she overcame it. “In the beginning,” explains Chopp, “I firmly believed that, as a politician, I should never block anyone from seeing any of my content. The advice to ‘just ignore it’ didn’t work for me. You can’t look at that negativity day in and day out and not have it affect you. So one day, I took my friend’s advice and for a couple of the harassers; block-block and block. Don’t be afraid to just shut out the negativity – it’s liberating. The abusers are still out there, and new ones always emerge, so I made a conscious decision to minimize using social media. That is a challenge in my position because of how great of a tool it can be to communicate your message, but I do my best to find other ways.”

When asked if Chopp had any advice for anyone dealing with cyberbullying, she said, “One thing I’ve learned is that no matter what you’ll never please everyone, so the most important thing is that through it all, you just keep being you.”

Children that experience cyber bullying may not tell their guardians in fear of having their electronic devices taken away. Some signs that children are being cyberbullied include:

  • Being nervous or jumpy when getting a message, text, or email
  • Changes in mood, behaviour, sleep, or appetite
  • Being upset after using their phone or a device to access the internet
  • Spending more time alone
  • Lack of interest in usual activities
  • Being secretive of their ‘digital’ life
  • Suddenly wanting to stop using the computer or device
  • Avoiding discussions about computer or phone activities

Children that are experiencing worries or mental health struggles should contact the Haldimand-Norfolk Child & Youth Crisis Service run by United Way partner Haldimand-Norfolk REACH at 1-866-327-3224. The number is operated 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and is confidential. This program supports children up to 18 years old and families/caregivers that are concerned about the mental health of a child or youth. If you are looking for support that is not urgent, you can contact the Haldimand-Norfolk REACH Child Clinical Services Walk-in Therapy Clinic on Tuesdays from 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM at 519-410-1502. This therapy session can help address a concern and come up with different helpful ways to think about things. This service is offered free, funded by United Way of Haldimand and Norfolk.

If you discover a child you know is being cyberbullied, have an open conversation and allow them to tell you what is going on without judgement or criticism. Stay calm and reassure them that you will not be taking away their phone or internet, and encourage them to talk to you about any harassing messages they receive. Discuss potential actions to help them determine what steps they want to take to deal with the situation. Actions can include blocking the bully, reporting it to your teacher or principal, or compiling the messages to report to the Ontario Provincial Police. Be sure to validate your children’s feelings and get them additional support if desired.

 “Here in Grand Erie, especially now that our learning platforms are virtual, our teachers are always looking for opportunities to educate students on how their online behaviour impacts the learning community. Thinking before you post, holding people accountable for what they say online and posting positive information can make for a more inclusive environment,” says Alison High, Principal at Valley Heights Secondary School at the Grand Erie District School Board. “When things do go wrong, the Board has a policy as to how schools will respond and it gives us an additional opportunity to remind us of the importance of continuing our work together with staff, students, families and communities to help raise awareness about social media and internet safety.”

“One of the best ways we can combat negativity online is to disengage and focus on spreading positivity,” states Brittany Burley, Executive Director of United Way of Haldimand and Norfolk. “It’s important that we model the behaviour that we wish to see, which is why I challenge everyone reading this to share something positive the next time you are online, whether it is complimenting a friend or writing a kind review about a local business. With one simple action, we have the power to brighten someone’s day.”

If you or someone you know is experiencing cyberbullying and needs support, please contact one of the numbers listed above.

Thank You Kim Shippey & Welcome Back Brittany Burley

United Way Haldimand and Norfolk Thanks Kim Shippey and Welcomes Back Brittany Burley

United Way of Haldimand and Norfolk is pleased to welcome back Brittany Burley to the role of Executive Director. Brittany left for maternity leave in November 2019 and is thrilled to be returning.

Kim Shippey, President of KMJ Consultants, acted as interim Executive Director for the past 15 months.

Kim Shippey, President, KMJ Consultants, acted as interim Executive Director for the past 15 months.
Haley McIntosh, Board Chair
Brittany Burley, Executive Director

“The compassion and drive for change across our communities is incredibly inspiring. I am humbled by our agency partners who are caring, dedicated and selfless individuals that work tirelessly in support of others. I thank our Board of Directors and our generous donors for their commitment to create lasting, local change,” said Kim Shippey.

“United Way, our agency partners and community all benefited from Kim’s stewardship of the organization. I cannot think of anyone who would have been better suited to navigate us through truly unprecedented times.” said Haley McIntosh, Chair of the Board.

“Stepping back into the Executive Director role to serve our community is a privilege that I am grateful for. The challenges of the past year have brought new hardships to the people of Haldimand and Norfolk counties. I am proud that United Way was there to provide support to those that needed it the most. Going forward, we will continue working together with our donors, volunteers, and agency partners to meet the evolving needs of our community,” said Brittany Burley, Executive Director.

Season’s Greetings

Season's Greetings!...

Your world may never be the same again. The simple act of getting your groceries, going to the bank, or going to work is just not as simple anymore. Meeting up with your friends, seeing your grandchildren, hugging your family. So much has changed. But if you are really struggling to put food on your table, have extremely limited funds in your bank account and recently lost your job, life is far from simple.

There are more than 16,250 adults and children across Haldimand and Norfolk who need your help. That is the number of people that your United Way assists every, single year—and the number is growing. The change in our world has caused an even greater change in their world. The number of visits to food banks has increased by 42%. The biggest struggle for so many families across Haldimand and Norfolk is the ability to put food on their table.

We discovered throughout the pandemic that for many children, the only meal they received each day was through the lunch program at their school. When schools closed in March, they were no longer fed. The needs are real, and they are urgent.

“Everyone who was handing out the food baskets were so nice. When we got home, my mom was happy. It was fun to put the food away together in our cupboards. Thank you to everyone who helped our family.”


Your gift will ensure that we can address these needs. Your gift will provide hope and a path to possibility. For so many, asking for help is hard. We passionately believe at United Way, that receiving that help should be easy. Together, we can create a community where our friends and neighbours are no longer struggling. We are a vibrant community, filled with caring people. Let’s make a difference today.

Your gift means so very much to families across Haldimand and Norfolk. We thank you.

12 Days of Pizza 2020

Order a Pizza - Help Your Community!

12 Days of Pizza with Domino's Simcoe is Back Again This Year

 “Giving back to the community is so important to us, United Way continues to help thousands of people and we are proud to be able to support them in their outstanding work.”

George Karamilev, Domino's Pizza Simcoe Franchisee. Tweet

Back by popular demand, United Way of Haldimand and Norfolk and Domino’s Pizza Simcoe presents ‘12 Days of Pizza.’ From December 12 to 24, Domino’s Pizza in Simcoe is offering a Large 4 – Topping Pizza for only $12.99 (promo code 4201 online) and 50% of the sales supports United Way of Haldimand and Norfolk. Treat your staff, family, team or yourself and support your community at the same time.

 To participate in 12 Days of Pizza, you can order from Domino’s Pizza in Simcoe online at or call the local store at 519-428-4100. Please note 12 Days of Pizza is only available at Domino’s Pizza in Simcoe.

“Domino’s Pizza are exceptional ambassadors of United Way and they continue to step up and support our community. We are incredibly grateful to George and his team.”

Kim Shippey, Executive Director

When you give to United Way of Haldimand and Norfolk you help children, families, neighbours and friends right in your own back yard. United Way finds solutions and mobilizes communities to drive change.