change lives.

Is there a brighter future ahead?

As we head into the holiday season, I can’t help but think of those who are struggling. It is meant to be a joyous time of year but for an increasing number of people in our communities, it is a time of anxiety and desperation.

A new campaign now underway by United Ways across the Maritimes focuses attention on the struggle to meet basic needs amid the rising costs of goods and services.

The Pie campaign features a one-minute video that highlights what the holidays might look like for many people who have suddenly found themselves in a position where they are struggling to get by.

It highlights a woman doing some holiday baking at home for her family, and the hurdles she encounters throughout the process of making a pie.

While missing ingredients from a recipe is something we can all relate to, not being able to do anything about it is a reality for nearly a third of Atlantic Canadians this holiday season.

Canada’s inflation rate reached a nearly 40-year high of 8.1 per cent in 2022, and although it’s dropped since, we’re still seeing very little relief on the cost of basic goods.

Rising housing and food costs are two of the biggest contributors to the affordability crisis.

United Ways across the Maritimes fund local programs that focus on food security, providing safe and secure housing, mental health support and connecting people to the resources they need to live well.

While some poverty and homelessness is very visible, this campaign highlights the struggle that can  happen behind closed doors, with people often making difficult decisions on their basic needs just to get by.

I invite you to support our efforts in this campaign by donating at – you can choose to direct your donation to United Way Saint John, Kings & Charlotte. Or by sharing the video on social media and with your friends.

You can also have conversations with family, friends or even elected officials about poverty, homelessness and isolation.

If you have given to United Way this year, I am grateful to you for helping the most vulnerable in our community. Through your generosity, you are helping build a brighter future and a stronger region.

Thank you,

Alexya Heelis
Executive Director
United Way Saint John, Kings & Charlotte