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United Way sets sights on GenNext

Local chapter of United Way looking for young adults who want to make a difference

Maybe it’s a mixer, or a sports tournament. It could be a contest or a food drive. Really, it could be almost any event young adults want to put on, as long as it helps the community.

United Way Simcoe Muskoka is preparing to launch its GenNext program, allowing young adults to organize activities that will help spread the word about the non-profit organization’s work, but also, more importantly, generate support for their community.

“We’re looking for young, creative, innovative leaders. We’re giving them an opportunity to build a program to help inspire,” said Laara Losier, GenNext staff partner with United Way Simcoe Muskoka.

To start, Losier is looking for 10 to 20 people in their 20s and 30s to take part in a “GenNext think tank," which will see the group gather information and ideas for events to be held later.

Some United Way agencies in other areas have implemented GenNext, and the local organization “saw it as a great opportunity to engage young adults in a meaningful way,” Losier said.

“The most exciting thing about developing this program is partnering with young adults and helping them leave their stamp on the community,” she said. “The work we do today is creating a lasting impact on the community.”

After the “think tank” meets in the fall, Losier is hoping to have about five activities planned, with the first one expected to take place later in the year.

“And then we would invite people in their 20s and 30s to come out and attend those events and help the community,” she said.

There will not be a financial or long-term time requirement of GenNext members, she said, adding the events will be like “pop-up volunteering” opportunities.

As a millennial, GenNext is particularly exciting for Losier.

“It’s not just part of my job; it’s something I’m passionate about,” she said.

Those in their 20s and 30s who share that passion are invited to contact Losier at [email protected] or 705-726-2301, ext. 2042.

Find out more about United Way Simcoe Muskoka here.