United Way Greater Victoria board members hold a banner shouting out the 2013 campaign goal of $6 million

United Way Greater Victoria board members hold a banner shouting out the 2013 campaign goal of $6 million

Service providers on front line at Greater Victoria United Way kickoff

Staff from roughly two dozen service providers part of 2013 campaign kickoff

Visitors to Ogden Point Tuesday morning got a glimpse into the work being done in their community for those in need.

Staff from roughly two dozen service providers, from Our Place to B.C. Families in Transition to Community Microlending, set up shop temporarily inside the terminal building as part of the 2013 campaign kickoff for the Greater Victoria United Way.

All of the agencies are funded by United Way, and their representatives did their best to get the message across to visitors how the money they receive helps those in need.

Claire Reynolds, a 40-year registered nurse who works in the intensive care unit at Victoria General Hospital, began volunteering with United Way in Grade 10 and hasn’t looked back.

Her first experience as a loaned rep – employers pay their employees’ salary while they work with the organization to help guide workplace campaigns –  opened her eyes to the work United Way does to target groups that do the most good in the community.

On a tour of service provider sites, she was amazed at the army of volunteers who make things work behind the scenes and on the front lines.

“After the first visit, I promised myself I would give all of my donation to them,” she recalled. “The next one changed my mind, and by about the fifth agency, I was thinking ‘I’m just going to give it to United Way and let them figure out where best to put the money.’ Everybody out there is doing amazing work.”

Part of the reward of volunteering, she said, is helping others who may not know some of these support agencies exist in the community.

Under the guise of fedoras and trenchcoats – this year’s slogan is Be an Agent of Change – United Way board members unveiled the 2013 campaign goal of $6 million.

Interim CEO Heather Gardiner said of the slogan: “It’s an empowering role that people can play. Change is one of those things that is a constant in life. We’ve got to frame it so people see it as positive.”

She said the board was comfortable setting the goal at roughly what was raised last year.