Pitching in, together


The United Way team joined its neighbours in The Redpoll Centre and from Choices, the social profit organization located in the same building on Franklin Avenue, for a comprehensive cleanup of the neighbourhood.


“This is something we have been doing for a number of years,” said Diane Shannon, Executive Director of The United Way of Fort McMurray. “It is a chance for us to contribute to the spring cleanup initiative in the community and get to know our neighbours better.”

We began with the parking lot behind The Redpoll Centre, picking up all the small bits of garbage that had accumulated over the winter, trimming weeds and sweeping the entire lot. Small groups of volunteers moved down the back alley and into the adjacent parking lot at the movie theatre.


“It was a lot of fun,” said Kiran Malik-Khan, Director of Stakeholder Relations. “We’re often so busy that we don’t get a lot of time to get to know our neighbours. So, not only did we clean up the block, we strengthened the sense of community in our small area of downtown.”


“It was great to give back to the community,” said Ricardo Yepez, Employment Counselor with Choices. “It was nice to work hand in hand with our neighbours at The Redpoll Centre.”

For the staff at the United Way and other organizations housed in The Redpoll Centre, this year’s cleanup was bittersweet, as we will be moving to our new location at Shell Place in one month’s time.

“I think there was a desire to leave the place in a better condition that we arrived,” said Diane. “Over the six years that we have resided at the Franklin Avenue location of The Redpoll Centre, the neighbourhood has really improved. I’m proud to say that the tenants of our nonprofit shared space have been a big part of that change. It certainly looks a lot better after today’s efforts.”

The municipality’s spring cleanup campaign continues until May 10th.



Author: Russell Thomas

​Russell is a marketing and communications professional who has spent 20 years in Wood Buffalo working with the OK Radio Group, Keyano College, Arts Council Wood Buffalo, and now with The United Way of Fort McMurray. A regular blogger, Russell's writing can be seen online (www.middleagebulge.com) and in multiple publications. His paintings can be seen in homes and businesses throughout the community. Married to Heather and "Papa" to Dylan and Ben, Russell is a passionate spokesperson for United Way.