Staff lend a helping hand to Lower Mainland campaign
UBC's loaned United Way representatives combine learning with
service to contribute to wider community
by Hilary Thomson staff writer
Speaking from "the pit" -- the open area workspace at United
Way's Burnaby headquarters -- UBC loaned representatives Pierre
Tanguay and Nancy Tiffin describe the action as go, go, go in the
push to reach the campaign goal for the Lower Mainland of $29.8
Tanguay, who has worked at UBC for seven years in the Dept. of
Health, Safety and Environment and Tiffin, who has worked at the
university for 10 years, have been supporting the campaign since
Tanguay and Tiffin saw their volunteer involvement as an opportunity
for service, to represent the university, gain skills and network.
Tiffin's supervisor, Business Relations director Linda Harmon,
says that Tiffin's enthusiasm and success with previous on-campus
United Way campaigns made her a good fit as a loaned rep.
Wayne Greene, director of Health, Safety and Environment, saw
the loan as a unique professional development opportunity for Tanguay
as well as a chance to give back to the community.
For 16 weeks, the loaned reps support fund-raising activities
in organizations ranging from UBC and large companies like Costco
and Molson's to small companies planning their first campaign.
All 62 loaned reps are given a week of training that includes
time management, presentation skills as well as orientation to United
Way and its goals.
"You learn to think on your feet," says Tanguay, who makes presentations
that may last five minutes or an hour. "And time management is crucial
-- I've traveled 150 kilometres to visit seven locations in one
Tiffin says she was initially challenged by learning and doing
at the same time but now loves what she does.
"I like connecting with people and developing relationships,"
she says. "I've found that is what gains support among donors."
And although all the reps are working hard, there are also lots
of social events and a great camaraderie, Tanguay says.
UBC's United Way campaign has raised more than $285,000 so far,
72 per cent of the way toward the campus goal of $395,000.
Fundraising events continue through November.