United Way seeks to increase participation in 2010-11 campaign

Fundraising goal set at $285,000

One dollar a week might not sound like much, but it’s enough for the American Red Cross' Douglas County chapter to provide a week of groceries to a person displaced from their home by a disaster.

KU and the United Way of Douglas County will kick off their 2010 fundraising campaign soon and are encouraging the university community to give, no matter how small the donation. A dollar per week or $2 per pay period donation is enough to allow Health Care Access Clinic to treat 12 patients with an infection or provide five clinic appointment visits. Agencies throughout the county can benefit from any size donation, said Mary Ellen Kondrat, dean of the School of Social Welfare and chair of the KU United Way Committee.

“People who have given in the past have been very generous,” Kondrat said. “Most importantly, we’ve set a goal of increasing the percentage of people who give.”

KU’s goal for this year is to raise $285,000.

A KU campaign kickoff event will be held Oct. 1 at the Kansas Union. Games, T-shirt giveaways and other events will take place, and information will be available about agencies supported by the United Way. The Douglas County campaign kickoff was held Sept. 9.

Rock Chalk Revue representatives will make a check presentation at the Oct. 14 football game against Kansas State. The annual revue raised more than $45,000 for United Way last year.

KU’s United Way committee is recruiting office representatives to share information about the campaign. Employees will also receive mailings with information at their homes soon. Kondrat said the committee is also encouraging people to volunteer for United Way agencies. Both volunteering and financial donations are good ways to show KU is a good neighbor, especially in a time when many in the community need help, she added.

Employees can make a one-time gift online at unitedwaydgco.org/donate_online.html. Contributors can also set up a payroll deduction at $1, $3, $5, $10 per pay period or an amount of their choosing online.

Last year, KU had about a 15 percent participation rate in the campaign. Organizers hope to raise that to 25 percent.

“We’re not the lowest and we’re not the highest among Big 12 institutions,” Kondrat said of the participation rate, “but I think we can do better.”

For more information, visit unitedwaydgco.org or contact Kathy McCurley at 864-3131 or kmccurley@ku.edu.

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