Iowa State University

Inside Iowa State
Sept. 20, 1996

United Way campaign campus goal is $160,000

by Linda Charles
Iowa State employees can make a significant difference by giving to the campus United Way campaign, said James Melsa, dean of the College of Engineering and ISU United Way division chair.

"The United Way in Story County provides financial assistance to more than 30 human service agencies, which provide help to everyone from infants to seniors," he said.

Many do not realize how far-reaching these programs are, he said. For example, during the floods last June, the Disaster "HotLine" was used to waken volunteers at 3 a.m. to assist with sandbagging and answering telephones. The "HotLine" is operated by the Volunteer Center, which receives funds from United Way.

It's a bet
Deans James Melsa and Ben Allen have a friendly wager over which college -- Engineering or Business -- will have the most United Way envelopes returned. The loser must wear the other dean's college sweatshirt for a day. Others are invited to join in the bet.

This year's campus campaign goal of $160,000 represents a 3.2 percent increase over last year's. "All donations, big and small, help these agencies provide essential services," Melsa said, adding he hopes some who have chosen not to give in the past will reconsider this year.

Nearly all the funds raised during this year's United Way campus campaign will go directly to helping people in this area, he said.

"United Way has a very low overhead cost because of the number of volunteers in the county. More than 83 cents of every dollar donated goes to meet human service needs," Melsa said.

In addition, most funds stay in Story County, although donors have the option to designate a United Way agency in a different county, he said.

Comprehensive information about United Way is available on the World Wide Web. The Web site includes general information about United Way, the various agencies United Way supports, answers to commonly asked questions and goal information about ISU's campaign.

All ISU employees should have received pledge cards and envelopes last week. Employees are asked to fill out the cards, seal them in the envelopes provided and return the envelopes to their area leaders. All donations are confidential; no one at the university knows how much anyone gives.

Donors have several pledge options, including payroll deduction. They also may choose to support specific agencies. The campaign runs through Oct. 15, although pledge cards will be accepted after that date.

"We need the support of all of our faculty and staff to help make the United Way successful," Melsa said.

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