Happy birthday, GenNext East Ontario  

4 MIN READ

We’re turning ONE! 

On February 24, 2021, GenNext Ottawa got a new name and mission to expand across Prescott-Russell, Ottawa, Lanark and Renfrew Counties. And GenNext East Ontario was born!  

As we celebrate our first birthday this month, we can’t help but feel proud and thankful for the amazing community you’ve helped us build over the past year. What began as a vision for the future of giving at United Way has transformed into a growing community of active social impact leaders dedicated to sparking  change where they live. To all you budding philanthropists and social entrepreneurs out there, we continue to be inspired by all the ways you show your local love. 

Since our launch, your support has enabled us to drive change on a larger scale than ever before. We are so excited to keep building GenNext EO with you.

Causes you care about

Over the past year, the GenNext team has worked hard to raise awareness about who we are and how we help the most vulnerable people in our region. Through community partnerships, virtual events, newsletters, and more, we’re making good on our promise to connect and create learning opportunities around our four causes: mental health, youth homelessness, diversity and inclusion, and equitable employment. 

A year in the life

Our birthday is an opportunity to reflect on how far we’ve come and say thanks to you for being with us along the way. Take a stroll with us down memory lane as we look back on some of our top moments from our first year. 

Amplifying local voices

Marking our launch in 2021, we hosted Amplify and heard about the complex issues affecting our region from local leaders who are tackling them head on.  

From keynotes to Q&A sessions, Amplify allowed us to dive deeper into the issues we care about. A year later, we are still reflecting on those conversations as they guide us through improving our work at United Way EO. Throughout this month, we’re sharing some of our favorite moments from Amplify on social media. Follow @GenNextEastON to keep up with us!  

P.S. You can watch all Amplify sessions right here

Recognizing 2SLGBTQ+ Community Builders with Capital Pride

At GenNext, we recognize the continued leadership of 2SLGBTQ+ advocates in advancing important social issues. From gathering in Ottawa for Canada’s first gay liberation protest and march on August 28, 1971, to banning conversion therapy in 2021, the 2SLGBTQ+ community in Ottawa continues to be at the forefront of the fight for gender and sexual liberation across the country.

That is why we joined forces with our friends at Capital Pride to shine the spotlight on 2SLGBTQ+ advocates leading change in our communities. Stay tuned for Pride 2022!

Welcoming new GenNext Advocates

This year we launched our GenNext Advocate program to engage young change-makers in raising awareness of the impact of our work at United Way. GenNext Advocates are volunteers who get to deepen their connection to their local community and make meaningful change while gaining leadership skills. It’s a win-win all around!  

Through this program, we met new volunteers who are passionate about actively supporting their communities. Working closely with United Way staff, these incredible volunteers are our local voices on how to stand up for the causes they care about, how to support GenNext, and how to get involved through our events and activities.

Meet our GenNext Advocates here.

Talking about mental health with Ryan Forsyth and Impact Hub Ottawa

At GenNext, we know that local impact is only possible through local collaboration and cooperation. That is why we partnered with Impact Hub Ottawa to get real about the stigma around mental health. Through an open and honest conversation with Ryan Forsyth, we learned about the importance of creating caring environments that support those struggling with mental health issues.  

We believe that everyone deserves fast and appropriate access to the help they need, when they need it. So, knowing what to say, or when to listen, can go a long way for someone who is struggling, and can be the difference between accessing the support and resources they need. 

Supporting youth facing homelessness with Dominion City Brewing Co. ​

We were so pumped when Dominion City Brewing Co. set up an option to donate to GenNext at online checkout throughout December and January. A local company showing local love? We love to see it!   

Thanks to your generous donations, we raised $3,820.68 at Dominion City’s online checkout to support youth experiencing homelessness. We are so grateful to have partners like DCBC by our side as we grow GenNext.  

Cheers to you, DCBC! Because of you, young people who are struggling will be able to start building a more stable life. 

Get to know Dominion City Brewing Co. here!

Connecting with Faisa Omer, Harar Hall, and Zainab Muse ​

Our first GenNext Connect of 2022 set the bar HIGH.

Host Zainab Muse facilitated a conversation about creating inclusive community spaces and centering important but overlooked narratives in art with photographer Faisa Omer and multi-disciplinary artist Harar V.A. Hall.

We learned about the power of art as a tool for social impact and a catalyst for self-care and community-care.

We can’t wait for more opportunities to get together with our GenNext community this year. Fingers crossed for in-person soon!  

Ready to be inspired? Check out the highlights here!

Sharing stories of local love

GenNext is all about local love and the good we can achieve in our communities when we come together for local impact. Amid an ongoing pandemic, sharing good news is our way of showing appreciation to the social impact leaders who make up GenNext. When we get to meet real people who are in a better place today because of United Way and our partners, including our amazing GenNext community members, that’s what it’s all about. 

Want to get stories of local love and updates on our events straight to your inbox? Subscribe to our bi-monthly newsletter. 

Celebrate our birthday with us!

Head over to our Instagram (@GenNextEastON) to enter our BDAY GIVEAWAY for your chance to win the ultimate loot bag full of gift cards from businesses in our region.* And keep an eye out for more birthday content throughout the week.  

Have we mentioned lately how grateful we are for all your support over this past year? It means so much to us. And we’re looking forward to what’s next. 

*Giveaway open until Thursday, March 24, 2022, at 11:59 PM EST. Visit our Instagram for details.  

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