80,000 lives changed this past year through United Way

80,000 lives changed this past year through United Way

Imagine your life changing in an instant after suffering a devastating brain injury due to an aneurysm. Imagine having to re-learn how to walk, talk, to feed and dress yourself. Months later, when you’re finally discharged from the hospital, imagine you are completely on your own.

This is Bev’s* story.

“I’m so surprised I’m still alive.”

Bev is in her 60s. She had been living in an abusive relationship for years and became socially isolated. So when Bev was strong enough to leave the hospital, her first stop was a safe house, funded by United Way.

“I was so afraid of everything.”

At the safe house, Bev was described as generous, helpful, strong and as someone who never gave up. It’s similar to the way she was described at her previous job. In fact she had been recognized with a “caring and sharing” award after 10 years of service.

Recently, Bev moved into her own cozy apartment. “Return to Health,” another program funded by United Way, sent a volunteer to help get her settled. This service helps isolated and frail seniors transitioning before, during and after hospital stays.

“I didn’t think I deserved a place like this.”

The volunteer, Kate*, helped Bev apply for all kinds of services including financial tools and transportation. Kate became a regular friendly face. The two women got together to go for walks in the community and to practice engaging in conversations. They went to a local seniors centre so Bev could get comfortable meeting people again.

Now Bev goes to knitting and crafts workshops twice a week at the seniors centre — all on her own. She has another social circle with a brain injury group. She goes for lunch with her old workmates. She has regained her confidence.

“I am so grateful. I would not be where I am today without all this help.”

Domestic violence often happens behind closed doors. But the effects are undeniable.

Bev is just one of more than 80,000 lives changed this past year through United Way.

Your gift today will be invested in a network of local organizations and programs for people like Bev to access safe houses and counselling as well as support to enable them to get back on their feet. Every dollar stays local. To donate, please visit uwgv.ca or call (250) 385-6708.

*Bev’s and Kate’s names have been changed to protect their identities.

Just Posted

Keygan Power with brother Quintin and mom Allison while camping the weekend before Keygan’s brain hemorrhage on Aug. 2, 2020. (Photo Allison Power)
Saanich teen ‘locked inside,’ regaining speech after severe brain hemorrhage

16-year-old suffers traumatic loss of function, still plays a mean game of chess

Island Health chief medical officer Dr. Richard Stanwick receives a first dose of Pfizer vaccine, Dec. 22, 2020. (B.C. government)
COVID-19: Vancouver Island in a January spike while B.C. cases decrease

Island’s top doc Dr. Stanwick breaks down the Island’s rising numbers

North Saanich is giving local businesses a break by waving renewal fees for 2021. (Black Press Media file photo)
North Saanich waives business renewal fees for 2021

The municipality raised $48,000 from businesses licences in 2020

The Sooke school district has filled all spots for their French immersion and nature kinderagarten programs in 2021-2022 school year. Regular kindergarten registration is still open and available. (Black Press Media file photo)
Sooke school district gets surplus of nature, French immersion kindergarten applications

Not enough room for almost half of nature kindergarten applicants

Dr. Penny Ballem, a former deputy health minister, discusses her role in leading B.C.’s COVID-19 vaccination program, at the B.C. legislature, Jan. 22, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C. holds steady with 407 new COVID-19 cases Tuesday

14 deaths, no new outbreaks in the health care system

A Cessna 170 airplane similar to the one pictured above is reported to be missing off the waters between Victoria and Washington State. Twitter photo/USCG
Canadian, American rescue crews searching for missing aircraft in waters near Victoria

The search is centered around the waters northeast of Port Angeles

The North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP have arrested a prolific offender who is now facing more than 40 charges. (Black Press file photo)
‘Priority offender’ arrested in Cowichan Valley faces more than 40 charges

Tyler Elrix, 37, had a history of evading police; was ordered not to be in Vancouver Island

B.C. Premier John Horgan listens during a postelection news conference in Vancouver on Sunday, Oct. 25, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
30% of B.C. recovery benefit applications held up in manual review

The province says 150 staff have been reassigned to help with manually reviewing applications

Adam Dergazarian, bottom center, pays his respect for Kobe Bryant and his daughter, Gianna, in front of a mural painted by artist Louie Sloe Palsino, Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2021, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
Kobe Bryant’s presence remains strong a year after his death

Tuesday marks the grim anniversary of the crash that took their lives

Surrey RCMP are investigating after a pedestrian was struck and killed at 183 Street and Highway 10 Friday night. (File photo)
Modelling of predicted transmission growth from the B117 COVID-19 variant in British Columbia. (Simon Fraser University)
COVID-19 variant predicted to cause ‘unmanageable’ case spike in B.C: report

SFU researchers predict a doubling of COVID-19 cases every two weeks if the variant spreads

The Brucejack mine is 65 km north of Stewart in northwestern B.C. (Pretivm Photo)
B.C. mine executives see bright gleam in post-COVID future

Low carbon drives demand for copper, steelmaking coal

In this Dec. 18, 2020 photo, pipes to be used for the Keystone XL pipeline are stored in a field near Dorchester, Neb.  THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Chris Machian /Omaha World-Herald via AP
Canadians divided over Keystone pipeline, despite U.S. president’s permit pullback

Two-thirds of Canadians think Biden’s decision was a “bad thing” for Alberta

Most Read