A biweekly publication for faculty and staff

Staff, Students Boost Annual United Way Campaign

March 30, 2017

Staff members at the Promenade held a bake sale to support this year's United Way campaign.The results are in: The 2017 UC Merced United Way campaign was a big success thanks to the campus community’s generosity and the tireless planning efforts of many participants and organizers.

The UC Merced United Way Committee shared the good news during a thank-you luncheon held Monday (March 27). Through fundraising events held across the campus and satellite facilities, the 2017 campaign saw a 10 percent increase in the total amount of funds raised compared to last year.

This year’s campaign ran from mid-January through Feb. 17. The annual campaign supports the United Way of Merced County.

Among the campaign highlights cited at the celebratory luncheon:

  • Employees who support the United Way by participating through payroll deductions increased by 4.6 percent.
  • Department representatives sold 1,626 pieces of See’s Candies during February’s Candy Gram sales event, which exceeded the original sales goal of 1,200 pieces.
  • Funds raised from activities that included bake sales, chili cook-offs and a campus police department event increased by 20 percent.
  • Signups for volunteer opportunities jumped by a staggering 533 percent compared to the previous year, largely due to increased student involvement.

Campaign Coordinator Hugo A. Lopez Chavolla, a UC Merced alumnus, credited the Office of Student Life for supporting the campaign and reaching out to students.

“Student involvement is imperative for the future of this campaign and for the future of the Merced community as a whole,” he said. “Engaging and connecting our students with the community is critical to our mission of public service and advancing the common good.”

Campus community members bought 1,600 pieces of See's Candies as part of this year's United Way Campaign.Individual staff members and departments also earned kudos during the luncheon. More than a dozen people received prizes for earning the most participation points and three campus departments  Facilities Management, Business and Administrative Services, and the UC Merced Police Department  received special recognition for hosting a variety of fundraisers.

Chavolla lauded the many department representatives who helped make the campaign a success as their work was critical in raising awareness and support for the United Way of Merced County’s services and organizations, including:

  • launching the Illusion Robotics team, Merced County’s first and only high school robotics team;
  • supporting the UC Merced Food Pantry, which aids in the fight against hunger and food insecurity; and
  • assisting the Valley Crisis Center, which provides support and recovery services and resources for survivors of domestic abuse.

Since 2001, UC Merced’s annual United Way Campaign has helped enrich the region and promote community involvement by raising more than $293,000 for United Way of Merced County.