Compassion In A Time Of Crisis

Alexya Heelis Shares Stories From United Way’s COVID-19 Response Highlighting The Psychological Benefit of Giving Back and Helping Others

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In This Episode

With the COVID-19 crisis, it’s become clear that we can only succeed if we work together. We wanted to take an episode to talk about the psychological benefit you get when you give back to your community and help others. To help us learn what’s happening right now Bill and Dave are joined by Alexya Heelis of the United Way Saint John, Kings and Charlotte. Alexya tells us all about the efforts happening on the ground and how businesses and employees are taking on leadership roles with their donations.

Resources Mentioned In This Episode

Episode Breakdown

First 10 Minutes
The group talks about the difference that is happening as generations change and the evolution of corporate responsibility. They discuss the importance and benefit of having that corporate focus on supporting employees and the positive psychological impact in helping others. We meet Alexya Heelis and learn about her background in the non-profit space.

10 Minutes – 20 Minutes

Alexya explains how the United Way is approaching the current crisis with the COVID-19 to ensure there’s not a duplication of efforts and that money is reaching the right people for the best impacts. Bill asks specifically to the current events with COVID-19 how United Way will be working to support the social impact and the deployment of resources. Alexya explains the emergency fund created by all the United Ways in Atlantic Canada called the Atlantic Compassion Fund. Alexya describes how they are looking to fill in the gaps that are supported by other programs.

20 Minutes – 30 Minutes 

Alexya shares how different organizations are coming together to learn from each other across the province of New Brunswick to learn from each other. Alexya explains how needs like food security and mental health are some of the biggest concerns that are coming to the top of the list. The group talks about the importance of coming together and supporting each other as much as we can during this time frame. The group talks about the benefits of helping others when you are secure in your employment. 

30 Minutes – 40 Minutes

Dave, Bill and Greg share their takeaways from the conversation.  

Alexya Heelis

Alexya Heelis

Interim Executive Director

With over 20 years experience in the non-profit sector, Alexya remains passionate about building strong communities and helping non-profits to be robust, enduring and efficient. Her work with United Way is an ideal vehicle to pursue these goals.

Also, because she is a mother, Alexya seeks by example and concrete accomplishment, to demonstrate that it is possible to make a substantive, positive difference toward a more just and opportunity filled community.

About United Way Saint, Kings and Charlotte

The United Way serving Saint John, Kings, and Charlotte brings people and organizations together to build vibrant neighborhoods and strengthen our community. Our roles are multiple: we are a funder, partner, convener, and advocate.

There are over 80 United Ways in Canada, and we are each autonomous. However, we are all part of the same brand and work within the same framework: helping kids be all that they can be; moving people from poverty to possibility; and building strong communities. Each United Way has its own independent board of directors made up of local volunteers from diverse backgrounds who make the decisions on the directions for the United Way.

Thank you to our partners!

Shifting the Employee Experience is presented in partnership with the University of New Brunswick College of Extended Learning, featuring the online High Impact Corporate Learning Program! Workplace health, safety, wellness and leadership are competencies that significantly impact a workforce. Strength in these areas is crucial for success in a corporate environment. Build capacity of your entire team with specialized courses! UNB Online! Learn more! Visit

Every worker. Healthy and safe. Every day.

Workplace Safety & Prevention Services is a not-for-profit organization committed to protecting workers and businesses. WSPS serves the manufacturing, agricultural and service sectors in Ontario supporting over 167,000 member firms and 4.1 million workers. WSPS offers unparalleled health and safety expertise, consulting, training and resources. Our mandate includes helping businesses understand their risks and legal obligations to stay in compliance and build safer workplaces.