For more than a month, volunteers across campus have been knocking on co-workers doors, sending e-mail reminders and gently prodding the campus population to turn in those United Way pledge cards.
The Universitys United Way Campaign, which began Sept. 26, closed on a high note last Thursday.
When the money is counted, we are confident that we will have reached our goal of $1 millionan amount that will make a significant difference to this community where we work and live, says Maureen A. Hartford, the U-Ms United Way campaign chair and vice president for student affairs. Seasoned veterans have put in hundreds of hours over the years, and this, coupled with new people who brought ideas and new enthusiasm to the campaign, allowed us to be successful.
We are encouraged by the activities of our newest partners, the students at the University. They have added enthusiasm and new thinking to our committees.
Students contributed $2,000 to the campaign, for the first time under their own regional chair. Bea Gonzalez, an LS&A senior, led the successful student drive. In addition to the month-long drive in the fall, student-planned activities throughout the year will heighten awareness of community need.
Elaine Didier, associate dean at the Horace H. Rackham School of Graduate Studies, also was a first-time regional chair, though she had been involved in the campaign for years.
I think the campaign was well-organized and the information was timely, she says. The chairs I worked with were very enthusiastic and did some interesting things within their units. Didier noted that using electronic mail to send messages to her group of campaign volunteers was very effective.
James W. Middlemas, University cashier and district chair for financial operations, is very proud of the job that his unit has done.
We have an excellent campaign in Financial Operations. We raised $12,980, well in excess of our goal, Middlemas says. He attributes some of the success to dividing the units goal into pieces for each of the 10 solicitors to work toward.
I think the people here are sold on the United Way concept, therefore it was easy for them to raise the funds, he says. You have to believe or it doesnt work.
Having new people involved in the campaign also added excitement and ideas, he noted. One volunteer increased awareness of the campaign and the need by holding two different salesone of cider and doughnuts and another of baked goods. Neither raised a significant amount in dollars, but they both increased awareness of the campaign, Middlemas says. I am very pleased with the results. The volunteers are truly amazinga very caring group of people.
Several units reported 100 percent participation in the fund-raising efforts. The Kelsey Museum of Archaeology, Center for the Education of Women, and Conferences and Seminars all turned in top scores for participation.
Washtenaw United Way helps fund more than 70 county agencies that provide emergency food and shelter, health services, support for handicapped and the elderly, medical research and community service activities.