Our History


United Way of Newfoundland and Labrador is one of the newest United Way – Centraide organizations in Canada, having been officially launched in 2005.  Spearheaded by five Rotary Clubs on the NorthEast Avalon, the local chapter initially came to being as United Way of Avalon.  After several years of fundraising and community building success, in 2009 we  relaunched our organization as United Way of Newfoundland & Labrador.  This change allowed us to fundraise and invest those funds throughout the entire province.  


United Way is a federated network of over 80 local United Way Centraide offices serving more than 5,000 communities across Canada, each registered as its own non-profit organization and governed by an independent volunteer-led local Board of Directors. Locally and nationally, our goal is the same – to create opportunities for a better life for everyone in our communities.

In French, both in Quebec and across Canada, our organization is known as Centraide. We often use the United Way and Centraide names together, recognizing the bilingual nature of our country’s culture and people.

United Way Centraide Canada plays a critical role in providing national leadership and membership support for the network of local United Ways and Centraides across Canada. Together, local United Ways and United Way Centraide Canada form the United Way Movement.

As a Canadian Movement with a strong heritage, we value trust and integrity, volunteerism, innovation, partnership, non-partisan leadership, and diversity. It is on the basis of these values that we improve lives and build communities.


United Way has a long history in Canada, dating back a century. Over the years, we have been known by many names – among them Community Chest, United Appeal and Red Feather. Throughout, we are proud to have improved lives in local communities across the country.

In 1972, designer Saul Bass created the iconic United Way logo, depicting the helping hand cradling mankind and surrounded by a rainbow symbolizing hope. Our community impact mission – to improve lives and build community by engaging individuals and mobilizing collective action – reflects the ideas outlined in our logo.