Champion Stories

“For our front-line winner it was the external recognition that we, no matter how much we appreciate her, could not convey alone.  It was recognition and tribute and role-modeling. It’s great when you see the value in what it is that you do, but even greater when you acknowledged in the community.”


Executive Director United Way Community Partner

Champion Stories: Enter a world of Innovation, Dedication and Caring

Congratulations to our award winners, the social architects who help people make transformational changes to their lives and build thriving communities. Read more about them and be inspired!

Here are a few of our featured stories. All stories are taken from the nomination forms.

All Award Winners – Stories that Spark a Smile

Explore our award winner stories by recipient name, by United Way location and/or by year. There are close to 1,000 stories (and counting!) that are sure to inspire.

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Your Champion Stories

Durham Family Court Clinic Team

The highly talented DFCC Team goes above and beyond in so many ways. Perseverance, dedication, determination, passion, compassion, empathy are just some of the many empowering words that come to mind when I think about my colleagues at DFCC. DFCC is a charity offering specialized services for young people and families including assessment, counselling, mental health supports, and supportive educational programming in Durham Region. Young people and families who access DFCC’s programs often face a myriad of barriers. Our Team, working collectively with the young person, their family and the community, helps break down those barriers to provide hope and build the necessary building blocks for health and well-being. Whether it is as an ardent and persistent advocate to access much-needed psychiatric support for a young person, notwithstanding many systemic roadblocks; being chosen by a student as a source of inspiration for a school presentation; being told by a young person many years later that “You guys saved my life”; getting donations for and putting together Holiday Hampers to help families out at a tough time of year; or a parent saying the experience working with the Team was very empowering and helped them cope and move forward, these are only a few examples of the DFCC Team doing whatever it takes to be there for young people and families. Driven by the commitment to provide hope and guided by values of collaboration, compassion, integrity and excellence, the DFCC Team are my heroes. As DFCC’s Executive Director I am humbled, proud and honoured to be a member of this team and work with an amazing group of committed professionals who make positive changes in our community daily.

— Nicola Crow, Executive Director, Durham Family Court Clinic

From the Heart: Words about and from our Award Winners

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"Those of us who are lucky enough to work with her know that she’s the definition of irreplaceable. She’s the epitome of dedication. She is the quintessential unsung hero. In nominating her for this award we hope that she finally gets her time in the spotlight."
"Before I entered Women Moving Forward, I was confused about how I was going to achieve goals in my life. While in the program, I realized that all the teachers never gave up on me. They always believed in me even when I didn’t believe in myself. They gave me a drive to keep moving forward and never look back."
"His compassionate heart is the pulse of the organization."
"The program challenges all the negative stereotypes and helps to generate an awareness of the positive roles Black men contribute to society. . . We have seen fathers go from not saying anything to getting the resources they need to help their children’s development. . . It’s important that programs such as More Than a Haircut be recognized for their great community partnership work."
"She is the glue that keeps our organization running smoothly. Her smile and positive attitude help keep team spirits up in the face of any challenge."
"When we think of dedication, we think immediately of the unsung heroes of the non-profit sector. The people who work outside of the spotlight, whose contributions to an organization’s success are significant, but often overlooked. These people provide the solid foundation that every organization needs to achieve a meaningful impact."

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