Victoria resident Barb McVagh has been donating to the United Way for more than 45 years.

Victoria United Way fetes longtime donors

United Way hosts tea for longtime donors and volunteers at Government House

Donating and volunteering for any length of time is laudable.

But how about donating to your favourite charity for nearly five decades, and for good measure, volunteering another 30 years?

Victoria resident Barb McVagh has done just that, and on Wednesday was celebrated by the United of Greater Victoria at a Red Feather tea at Government House along with 475 other donors for more than 25 years of dedication to the movement.

“United Way is my social conscience,” says McVagh. “They can do for my community what I cannot, and so I give.”

Serving the insurance industry for the length of her career, McVagh was influenced by an employer who believed in United Way. She learned the fine art of perpetual giving, embracing the ideal of giving back over the long term.

In addition to her years of generosity, McVagh also volunteered for more than 30 years with United Way’s leaders committee.

“Barb McVagh is a dedicated patron who shares our vision to improve life for thousands of local citizens,” says Patricia Jelinski, CEO of United Way.

“She has taught us so much in giving wisely of her time, her knowledge, and with consistent generosity which enriches our community greatly. All our Red Feather donors represent the foundation of our community, uniting for change to build a stronger, more inclusive and caring community.”

Her years with the leaders committee brought her an even deeper understanding of United Way and Greater Victoria’s needs.

“I really learned how United Way improves our community,” says McVagh.

McVagh has also been involved with other charities over the years.

But she has always remained with the United Way.

“Everybody should be giving to United Way,” says McVagh, who, in a word, describes the organization as “necessary.”

“They care. They believe. And they ensure every penny goes where it can do the most good.”

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