By now, you might be familiar with the story of the janitor at NASA in 1961 who, when asked by President Kennedy what he was doing, replied “Mr. President, I’m helping to put a man on the moon.” It’s a favourite anecdote of speakers and leaders, used to demonstrate that a united vision can propel humankind to as-yet-unheard-of heights.
Whether or not this story is an urban myth, it highlights an important truth here at UGM: we all have different roles, but we also all have one job. From donors to staff, volunteers to community members, each of us plays an integral role in freeing our neighbours to overcome poverty, homelessness, and addiction. When you give, when you contribute your time, when you invite others to support UGM, you are putting a man on the moon. Or, in our case, you are transforming communities, one life at a time.
This year, together, we took notable steps towards completing that one job. We celebrated the opening of our new Women & Families Centre, a beautiful space designed to welcome mothers and children, reunite families, and effect generational change. Relaxed pandemic restrictions meant we could gather together again for meals, while both men and women embarked upon recovery, many for the first time. In the face of bad news and real suffering, hope is rising — and it’s found in community.
It’s also found in the generosity of people like you. Every restored relationship, every new recovery story, every small miracle at UGM is born out of the impact you make with your deep care. We hope that as you go out into the world in the coming year, you are reminded not only of its great challenges, but of the wonderful, remarkable successes people have made of their lives by taking one step at a time. Thank you for ensuring that, like the theme for this report, the prospects for individuals and families in our communities are also on the rise.
Amidst all we have to celebrate this year, the hard work continues. As our communities feel the impacts of rising global crises, we’re casting an even wider, Christ-centred vision to ensure that no one goes without. As Paul writes in Philippians, we seek to be “of one mind,” ceaselessly pursuing the flourishing of those we serve. And that will only be possible because of your continued compassion and heartfelt commitment to transformed communities. With humble hearts, we thank you for partnering with UGM; together, we’re ensuring that our neighbours can chart a new course towards health and wholeness.
Thank you for journeying with us.
In faith and hope,
President: Dean Kurpjuweit
Director Of Men’s Programs & Outreach: Dan Russell
Director Of Finance: Mary Lum
Director Of Resource Development: Ryan Koch
Director Of Housing & Support Services: Rob Thompson
Director Of People & Culture: Stacey Reyes
Director Of Women & Families Programs: Tara MacDonald
Board Of Directors
Chairperson: Jim Barkman
Vice Chairperson: Stanley Martin
Treasurer: Laurie Bristow
Secretary: Kathy Chan
Dr. Joseph Yang
Dr. Toma Timothy