Casera and United Way.

Casera is taking the guiding principle of support for the community to heart. Since 2002, Casera’s staff have been involved in workplace fundraising for United Way Winnipeg. It’s an annual gesture that Brent Thomas, Casera’s CEO, said is an important initiative for the entire credit union.

 “Our staff understands the value we place on supporting and giving back to the communities we work, live and play in,” said Thomas. “We’re proud that in past campaigns we’ve achieved 100 percent commitment to the United Way from our employees.”

Donate online to Casera’s campaign. Go to unitedwaywinnipeg.ca/give and check the box on that says “This donation is part of a workplace campaign”.

The goal for Casera’s 2019 campaign is to once again encourage the full participation of staff and to raise more funds than in previous years. The campaign kicked off September 24 and ends October 19. Like other years, pledge form incentives such as a draw to win an hour off work or a bonus vacation day have been key to motivating staff. Other internal fundraising activities include a 50/50 draw, silent auction, special lunches, and gift card draws. As well, when staff members make donations, they get to wear casual clothes on designated “jeans days.” Casera also encourages its members to donate to the United Way campaign either online or in-branch. Special coin boxes are situated in each branch and members who donate $20 and over receive a tax receipt. 

“The annual campaign is always an exciting time for our staff,” said Thomas. “They participate because they realize how important it is to raise funds for much-needed community organizations.” 

This year, Casera’s employee group heard from Catherine, a United Way Winnipeg volunteer, whose inspiring story of hardship and hope touched many of them. She explained how war forced her family to flee the Democratic Republic of Congo for a refugee camp in Uganda. From there, Catherine, her husband, and four children arrived in Canada as government-sponsored refugees. The family received support from Welcome Place, a United Way Winnipeg agency partner.

“It was a chance for a new life, and I was excited and grateful, but still, we were filled with so much anxiety,” she said. “We came here with nothing. Zero.”

Catherine and her family received encouragement and life skills information from Welcome Place. Eventually, she went back to school with the assistance of the Community Education Development Association (CEDA), another United Way Winnipeg agency partner. Today, Catherine is a Community Health Facilitator at Mount Carmel Clinic.

Read Catherine’s story at unitedwaywinnipeg.ca/lives-changed/catherine

For Brent Thomas, the annual United Way campaign is an essential building block of Casera’s community support program. “Assisting the people and organizations in our neighbourhoods is a core value of our credit union,” he explains, “and we’re proud that our team has taken it upon themselves to engage in such a vital initiative.”