A biweekly publication for faculty and staff

2013 United Way Campaign Underway at UC Merced

January 15, 2013

The 2013 United Way Campaign got off to a rousing start this week with the campus’s second annual Chili Cook-off and Bread Bake-off, which raised $3,515.

Each year, UC Merced raises funds to support the community as part of the campus’s mission of public service. Last year’s campaign raised $33,400 and organizers hope to increase that amount, along with overall participation, by 10 percent. This year’s theme is “United Our Star Shines Brighter.” The campaign continues until Feb. 28.

“UC Merced is proud of our partnership with United Way of Merced County and excited to continue our tradition of community service,” said Connie McBride, business officer in the Office of Student Life and chairwoman of UC Merced’s campaign. 

This year, United Way is funding 19 different programs at nonprofit agencies, including the UC Merced Police Department Mentor Program. The programs benefit the community by providing wholesome activities for youth, education and counseling, pain therapy, services for the disabled, support for those in need and much more. 

“With unemployment rates at 16 percent and poverty rates hovering at 27 percent, success of this year’s United Way campaign will make a difference in the lives of people who need assistance from these agencies now more than ever,” Chancellor Dorothy Leland wrote in a letter to campus employees.

More than 250 employees attended the Jan. 15 kick-off event. There were 26 chili and bread entries from 16 different departments. Pictures from the event, along with names of prize winners, will be posted the campus’s campaign website.

For the second round of the campaign, department representatives will sell Cookie Grams to be delivered on Valentine’s Day. Cookie Grams cost $2 and are a fun way to support United Way while surprising a co-worker or thanking special friend. Cookie Grams can be purchased from Jan. 23 until Feb. 8.

In support of the campus's focus on sustainability, the United Way committee decided to go green this year. Instead of distributing printed materials, all information, including pledge forms, is available online.

Employees can make a one-time donation or set up a monthly payroll deduction. Pledge forms also can be printed and sent to campus payroll.

United Way is a 501 (c) (3) organization and donations are tax deductible. Questions about the campaign can be sent to unitedway@ucmerced.edu.

Most of us are glad we work and live in a good community, so we take pride that we are able to give back by donating to those less fortunate than us,” McBride said. “In doing so, we make our community a better place to live.”