Donations make a difference in life

Pam Miles has a unique perspective on the university’s United Way campaign. As
a donor she receives thanks from campus volunteers. As a volunteer
vice-president for a United Way agency–Big Sisters of B.C. (Lower
Mainland)–she gives thanks for campus support.

“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

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

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

For more information on the United Way campaign, call Penny Weir at 822-9026 or
visit the Web site at