Welcome to Renfrew County United Way

Thank you for visiting our site! Renfrew County United Way (RCUW) is a community of caring donors and energetic volunteers in eastern Ontario who work year-round to support our communities’ needs.
As a not-for-profit, registered charitable organization, RCUW relies on the on-going generosity of many people, organizations and businesses within the 23 municipal jurisdictions it serves. Without their continued support, there would be no United Way.
We invite you to enter our website to learn more about who we are, what we do and who benefits from our work. We also invite you to help us help your community by getting involved as a volunteer or by becoming a donor. 
Remember . . . Change Starts Here!



When Joy first started coming to the Toy Bus program, she was completely exhausted, deflated and desperate for help. This mother was living in a very isolated situation in a small rural community and struggling with her preschooler’s unruly behaviour. Joy very cautiously reached out to the Community Resource Centre (CRC) in Killaloe for help.

With funding from the United Way, we were able to provide a variety of supports. In the beginning, Joy was too nervous to attend mainstream community programs. She also had physical challenges that kept her from going out in public places or even for a walk with her child, for fear that she would not be able to keep her safe.

Staff provided one-on-one coaching in Joy’s home and private play groups at our Ontario Early Years locations. We took Joy and her daughter out shopping and for walks down the street, role modelling how to positively support her little one, while providing clear boundaries to ensure safety. With the support of staff, Joy’s parenting confidence began to grow and grow.

Gradually mother and daughter joined our Parent Cafe program with other families, making friends and sharing the trials and tribulations of raising children. Because of the extra support provided through the United Way’s investment, Joy has found the confidence to start attending CRC’s mainstream parenting programs with her daughter.

Today, the parent/child relationship balance is healthier. Mother and daughter still have their struggles like any family does but overall, they are doing great! Mom is better able to access the support she needs as a parent and child is thriving.



Renfrew County United Way Chair Doug Tennant attended the NRFS Board meeting on June 21st and presented a grant cheque in the amount of $20,500. These funds will continue to provide counselling through the Successful Relationship Building program. Pictured left to right are: (back row) - Julie Laderoute (CoChair), Kelly Hawley (Executive Director), Rick Janzen (Treasurer), Nancy Bourgoin, Jonathan Leslie (Co-Chair), Andy McKee (front row) - Doug Tennant, Claire Watts, Dé Groeneveld, Jeff Juby (Counsellor)

Are you interested in helping to improve the lives of over 7,300 individuals in Renfrew County? United Way has some vacancies on our volunteer Board of Directors. If so, we we’re looking for new Board members. We have three key focus areas: | From Poverty to Possibility | All that Kids Can Be | Healthy People – Strong Communities | Please contact Pat Lafreniere Exec. Dir. to discuss. By phone at: 613-735-0436 or email to: pat@renfrewcountyunitedway.ca   Together, we are possibility.

Volunteers are the life blood of the Renfrew County United Way; of all charities. We salute your invaluable contributions and tireless efforts to help changes lives every day in our region. Thank you for all you do – Together, we are possibility!

Statement by the Prime Minister of Canada on National Volunteer Week
April 11, 2016 Ottawa, Ontario The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, today issued the following statement on National Volunteer Week:

“This week is National Volunteer Week, a time to celebrate and thank Canada’s 12.7 million volunteers for the selfless work they do to help those around them.

“The theme for this year’s campaign—Volunteers are the roots of strong communities—recognizes that volunteers are at the heart of healthy and resilient communities.

“We each have the power to make the world a better place. We can help a senior citizen who can no longer drive, mentor a young person in an after-school program, or welcome Syrian refugees to their new country. Volunteers look for opportunities to contribute their time, passion, and skill to make a positive difference in the lives of others. They believe—and know—that better is always possible.

“On behalf of all Canadians, I want to thank all the volunteers who every day accomplish extraordinary things and make Canada a great place to live.”


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Attention: All health and social service charities in Renfrew County

The United Way invites interested and qualified charities located in Renfrew County to submit proposals for project funding support in 2016. During 2014, the United Way also established a new “Community Investment Fund” that provides one-time micro-grants for up to $1,000 per project.

Proposals must address health and social issues within one or more of our six broad, strategic priority areas: youth, child poverty, seniors, safe & affordable housing, transportation and health services.

Regular funding support proposals must be completed on the approved form and submitted with a covering letter to Renfrew County United Way in Pembroke, not later than Thursday, February 25, 2016 at 4pm. Qualified charities may submit a maximum of TWO (2) proposals. For the the new Community Investment Fund, proposals can be submitted anytime throughout 2016.

Submit the application package by REGISTERED MAIL or EMAIL a .pdf with a READ RECEIPT to the Renfrew County United Way. Email: gail@renfrewcountyunitedway.ca and Mail: 224 Pembroke St. W., Pembroke, Ontario, K8A 5N2.

Qualified charities are defined as those having Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) approved registration. Proposal forms and accompanying documents can be obtained from the Renfrew County United Way Website at: www.renfrewcountyunitedway.ca. If you have any questions or require additional details, please call: 613-735-0436 or toll free: 888-592-2213. Thank you.

During 2015, United Way 16 funded charities throughout Renfrew County made a positive difference in the lives of over 7,300 people or 1 in 14; neighbours, friends and colleagues.


Renfrew County Safe Shelter for Youth Receives $25,000 from Renfrew County United Way

The Renfrew County Safe Shelter for Youth recently received $25,000 for its initiative to provide a safe and caring environment for youth ages 16 to 21 in need of a safe bed where their immediate basic needs can be met. Columbus House (Pembroke) Inc., Family and Children's Services of Renfrew County, The Phoenix Centre for Children and Families, and the Renfrew County United Way formed a collaborative to collectively address the issue of youth homelessness in Renfrew County. "We believe that collective impact approach will produce profound and long-term results" says Arijana Tomicic, Executive Director with Family and Children's Services.  read more here

In the photo are (left to right): Front row - Gail Logan-McMeekin, Executive Director, Renfrew County United Way and Megan Rousselle, Youth Outreach Worker/Safe Shelter for Youth Coordinator, Family and Children's Services of Renfrew County. Back row - Arijana Tomicic, Executive Director, Family and Children's Services of Renfrew County, Greg Lubimiv, Executive Director, The Phoenix Centre for Children and Families, and Tina Belanger, Executive Director, Columbus House (Pembroke) Inc.


Robbie Dean Centre opens new clinic in Eaganville
by: Andrew Lafleche, Pembroke Daily Observer

Renfrew County United Way presents cheque to The Robbie Dean Family Councelling Centre at launch of new satellite clinic in Eaganville July 6. From left, Bob French (RDFCC), Monique Yashinskie (RDFCC), Gail Logan-McMeekin (United Way) and Tom Sidney (RDFCC).

EGANVILLE – July 7, 2015: The Robbie Dean Family Counselling Centre (RDFCC) celebrated the opening of their new walk-in clinic July 6th. The clinic is located at the West Champlain Family Health Team office at 75 Wallace St., Eganville. It will be open on the 2nd and 4th Monday of each month between the hours of 1 p.m. and 5 p.m..

“In September of 2014 we had four clinics going,” said Monique Yashinskie, administrator for the RDFCC. “Through the generous support of the United Way we are able to open here in Eganville.”
The United Way contributed $35,000 to the launch of this satellite location.

The RDFCC operates clinics in Petawawa, Pembroke, Renfrew, Arnprior and Eganville, with the intention to have “a clinic open somewhere in the county every day of the week.” “We’re just missing Barry’s Bay,” Yashinskie said.

In March of 2012, the West Champlain Healthy Community Corporation opened the Robbie Dean Centre with the goal of enhancing mental health services in Renfrew County. According to Statistics Canada, compared to other cities in the province, Renfrew County has very poor health statistics with above average rates in obesity, smoking, alcoholism and chronic disease. These factors are considered to be negatively associated with mental health.

Through collaboration with existing agencies, the RDFCC strives to “bridge the gap” in the current mental health system. “The idea is to keep people out of the emergency room,” Yashinskie said. “We don’t do long-term therapy. We help them, and then we navigate the system on their behalf, connecting them with where they need to go.”

By working with the person who is in trouble, teaching them how to deal with their own crisis, and then working with the family, the RDFCC employs a wraparound approach to providing social services and education.

Tom Sidney, the clinics suicide intervention specialist, explained that the clinic serves to make help easily accessible. The clinic is set up for people to drop by, no referrals, no fees, and get the immediate help that they need.

“When an individual in crisis comes through the door,” Sidney said, “we greet them, listen to them and allow them to vent and share their story, breaking it down from there.” Specialists take the crisis and help the individual to envision where they want to be and then work backwards in order to determine where to start. “We do a lot of work with parents trying to understand their teenagers; we do interventions themselves as well as suicide prevention and education.” Sidney said.

The RDFCC has served clients between the ages eight and 72.
The new Eganville clinic is located to be more accessible for those in Golden Lake, Pikwàkanagàn, Killaloe and Barry’s Bay. On their first day open, they served three clients. “Based on start-up locations,” Sydney said, “that’s busy.”

“Today is a huge day for the Robbie Dean Centre,” Monique Yashinskie concluded. The RDFCC is relies solely on the support of the community.