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UBC Reports | Vol. 46 | No. 16 | Oct. 19, 2000

Campaign benefits stay close to home

Small beginnings can achieve powerful results, says United Way supporter Rick Hansen

by Bruce Mason staff writer

As you pause to decide whether or not to support UBC's United Way campaign, organizers ask you to consider that locally 600,000 individuals benefit from donations.

In the Lower Mainland, one in eight people aged 15 to 64 is limited by a long-term physical condition, mental condition or health problems. One in seven families is headed by a single parent. Sixty per cent of female lone parents live in poverty and of the one in eight people aged 65 or older, 30 per cent live alone.

Rick Hansen -- the president of the Rick Hansen Institute at UBC -- knows firsthand how to make a difference.

"By working together, from a small beginning, we can achieve powerful results," he says. "During my 1985-87 Man in Motion Tour, as I travelled around the world in a wheelchair, millions of small donations were made which amounted to an incredible $24-million legacy."

Since that time, the institute has been formed with a mission to accelerate the cure for spinal cord paralysis. Today, through the generosity of donors, including United Way donations and income from endowments, Hansen's efforts have resulted in awards of $37.6 million to spinal cord injury research.

"This is a direct result of teamwork," says Hansen. "It was the strength of my world tour and it's the strength of the United Way."

Recently the Rick Hansen Institute partnered with UBC to create more than $5 million in endowments, the income from which supports research for a cure through the Faculty of Science and Collaboration on Repair Discoveries (CORD). Operating grants and fellowship and student trainee awards have been granted to expand spinal cord injury research directed toward a cure. Neurotrauma research grants have been awarded to the Brain Research Centre and UBC's departments of Health Care and Epidemiology and Orthopedics.

"When a cure for spinal cord injury is found the impact of the original dollars donated to the Man in Motion Tour will have produced a global benefit," says Hansen. "We believe the best is yet to come and that greatness can be achieved when individuals from across our community come together in a common endeavour such as the United Way."

"From the funding of family and children's services and early prevention of premature labeling and school failure, to fighting poverty, abuse and discrimination, United Way funding makes a profound impact on our community's future, including the university's potential students," says Bill McMichael, chair of UBC's United Way campaign.

Those who wish to direct donations to any of the United Way's agencies and community projects, a registered Canadian charity, or UBC programs such as the Rick Hansen Institute can do so by specifying the beneficiary of their choice on the pledge forms.

For more information on UBC's United Way campaign -- including pledge forms -- visit www.unitedway.ubc.ca or call 604-822-8929.


The cost of a ticket for the United Way raffle is $5. The amount given in the Oct. 5 issue of UBC Reports was incorrect.


Last reviewed 22-Sep-2006

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