Message from United Way Ottawa’s Campaign Chair

Growing up in Scotland, I never gave much thought to school or to my life after graduation. Both my father and grandfather worked in the coal mines and I figured I would too. Two teachers changed my path by opening the door to other possibilities; one to literature and the new worlds in books; the other to the idea that I didn’t have to settle on a life in the mines … that I too could be a teacher. This new path, and the help of others along the way, eventually brought me to Ottawa and Carleton University.

All of us have had someone or something that has changed our life or opened a new door. What people or events in your life have brought you here to Carleton University? What has given you this opportunity for a better education and career path, for new friendships, and for the opportunity to discover new ideas and worlds?

There’s a world out there that United Way Ottawa knows very well, the faces of the needy in our community. But you may not recognize these faces among your classmates and peers. The student who is abused by her boyfriend and has nowhere to turn. The one who is new to Canada and cannot find his way. The one who has a disability and is ignored. The one who goes hungry when the food bank can’t help him. These are also faces that United Way knows well and tries to help.

This year’s 2009 United Way campaign is all about rediscovering community. We can lose sight of just how many people in our community face challenges every day. And so we want to encourage people to rediscover their community, the good that is out there and the difference we can make together.

Through your Carleton University campaign, you have a chance to do something for a person in need in this city. Be a part of something bigger than yourself. Follow us on Twitter @UnitedWayOttawa, join our Facebook group, and visit, where you can learn about the lives we change and find out how you can be involved.

Good luck in the coming school year,

Jamie McCracken
2009 United Way Ottawa Campaign Chair
Director of Education & Secretary Treasurer,
Ottawa Catholic School Board
Carleton University Alumnus

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