On January 25th, in spirit of “Bell Let’s Talk Day, “United Way Centraide Sudbury and/et Nipissing Districts and the Sudbury Wolves officially announced their philanthropic partnership with the launch of the “Wolves United” fund, which will support local youth development and youth mental health services.
As the team embarks on A New Era of Wolves Hockey, their corporate values and commitment to improving the health and well being of our community is a vision shared by United Way Centraide. As organizations built upon pillars of excellence, quality, and community, these partners look forward to collaboratively addressing the needs of youth locally.“It is time to embrace the significant and rich history that both these organizations offer our community,” says Dario Zulich, owner of the Sudbury Wolves, “we are passionate about youth development and the integral role our players play in the lives of kids in our community.”
This innovative partnership will advance United Way Centraide’s 2017 local focus by prioritizing the identified concern of youth and youth mental health within our community. According to the Collective Impact for Disconnected Youth, 30% of Sudbury’s high school students reported unmet needs for mental health support and 15.8% reported suicidal ideation. This report also indicates that the youth unemployment rate as well as reported drug use at school is higher than the provincial average.
“We have thousands of youth struggling in our community – issues such as unemployment, graduation rates, homelessness, addictions and mental health are real and affect the lives of many families. We need the community to rally behind us to ensure that no one is left behind,” says Michael Cullen, Executive Director of United Way Centraide, “It’s our responsibility to address our community’s needs and ensure that a social safety net is in place for our youth.”
Together, United Way and the Sudbury Wolves’ have made an initial financial investment to be held in trust of the “Wolves United” fund. As the partnership matures, the investment will grow year after year with a contribution from United Way Centraide as well as through partnerships and initiatives. “Wolves United is built upon an idea that when people come together and share their knowledge, experience, talents and resources, we can make things happen that we never could by working on our own,” says Cullen, “It’s about removing barriers
and creating opportunities that will make a significant difference in the lives of our youth today and for generations to come.”