"I'm an easy sell as a donor, because I see first hand the good that comes through United Way agencies here in Vancouver," says Miles, development officer for the UBC Library and Student and Academic Services.
She was matched with her Little Sister Kim six years ago, and this year watched proudly as the 18-year-old graduated from high school, found a job and moved into her own apartment.
"Graduation might not seem like a big deal, but each person has his or her own challenges," says Miles. "Like all teenagers, Kim went through some difficult periods and had to make a lot of choices about which path to take. I'm proud of her for setting the goal of graduating, and then working hard to achieve that goal."
Miles stresses the value of the Big Sisters organization, and other United Way community agencies, in bringing together services and people in need.
"I like to think there are no bad kids, just bad choices, which usually result from lack of knowledge and lack of support. As a friend and mentor, which is what a Big Sister is, I've tried to help Kim understand the choices available to her."
Each year, one in three people in the Lower Mainland benefits from the services of a United Way agency. UBC's employee campaign, one of the five largest in the Lower Mainland, provides critical support for United Way agencies and other charities.
In this year's campus campaign, which closed Nov. 30, UBC faculty, staff and students contributed $264,030 towards the campus goal of $290,260. Organizers are confident of reaching the goal as additional contributions come in during December.
For more information on the United Way campaign, call Penny Weir at 822-9026 or visit the Web site at http://www.unitedway.ubc.ca.