Sept. 3, 2009

United Way campaign kicks off Sept. 11

by Paula Van Brocklin

United Way of Story County's 2009 fund-raising campaign launches Sept. 11, with hopes of raising $1.565 million for nonprofit programs and agencies countywide. Of that total, Iowa State seeks to contribute $295,500.

Contribute, if you wish

Iowa State faculty and staff will receive United Way pledge information in their campus mailboxes Sept. 18. Those who wish to donate money should complete the form and return it by Oct. 23. Employees who return the form with a contribution by that date will be in the running for a pair of tickets to one of five upcoming Iowa State Center performances, including Hal Holbrook in "Mark Twain Tonight!" The Wizard of Oz, Jesus Christ Superstar, Avenue Q and Cabaret.

Employees are not required to support United Way, but those who choose to contribute can designate where their money goes, or doesn't go.

More information on Iowa State's 2009 United Way campaign is online.

"The donation really is controlled by the donor," said Jack Payne, ISU's 2009 United Way campaign chair.

Payne added that United Way needs assistance more this year than ever.

"The budget crisis and the recession is having a tremendous impact on our university and community," Payne said. "More than ever, our friends, family and colleagues need our help."

Pam White, dean of the College of Human Sciences, is this year's leadership chair, working to increase Iowa State's campaign leadership gifts. Last year, ISU employees contributed $295,325 to United Way of Story County. The fall campaign wraps up Dec. 7, but United Way accepts contributions all year.

Day of Caring

Some employees already have chosen to get their hands dirty for United Way. Earlier this summer, faculty and staff had a chance to sign up for United Way's annual Day of Caring on Sept. 11. On this day, volunteers from Iowa State and other businesses and organizations across the county assist various nonprofit agencies with everything from painting building exteriors, to washing windows, to sprucing up yards.

Iowa State has 11 teams comprising about 75 faculty and staff participating in this year's Day of Caring. The College of Human Sciences has another team of 125 freshmen, who will take turns spreading mulch, picking up trash and pulling weeds on campus. The other teams will help agencies in Ames, Huxley and Story City.