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WVU kicks off 2017 United Way campaign

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West Virginia University has kicked off its 2017 United Way campaign with a goal of $300,000.

 

Vice President and Executive Dean for Health Sciences, Dr. Clay Marsh will serve as the chair of the 35th annual campaign. This year’s theme, My United Way, is designed to allow community members, donors and volunteers to express what the United Way means to them. The campaign, which lasts eight weeks, will wrap up Nov. 10.

"We live surrounded by a lot of noise in our society - noise that creates separation, conflict, difference, isolation, fear and a mindset of scarcity,” Marsh said. “The antidote to this is the connection that comes from deep and positive relationships and strong communities. The United Way is one of the best tools we have to deepen our community's connections." 

For the third year, employees will be able to pledge electronically and via paper forms. You can also attend various fundraisers across campus throughout the campaign.

All contributions for WVU’s United Way campaign stay local, as the money is donated to 29 different organizations in Monongalia and Preston counties that assist people with healthcare, childcare, youth mentoring, senior programs, mental health programs, disaster response initiatives and healthy lifestyle initiatives, among others. These agencies, however, do not have the resources for large fundraising campaigns and rely on WVU’s United Way campaign each year for additional funding.

Employees interested in making a contribution should complete the pledge form online at http://unitedway.wvu.edu/ or return their pledge form to their Campaign Ambassador.

The entire campaign’s goal in Monongalia and Preston counties is more than $1.525 million. WVU would like to gather about one-fifth of the funds with the $300,000 goal.

“Just like you’re known for doing across our great state, West Virginia University continues to step up for our community,” said Amy Skeens, United Way Director of Development and Communications. “The dollars raised through this campaign are really changing lives. It is about helping our neighbors, and WVU gets that.”

WVU’s donations help provide:

·       54 programs at 29 health and human service agencies

·       38,396 weekend food packs for school-aged children

·       659 placements with permanent job opportunities for veterans

·       5,087 visits for mental health case management and counseling

·       2102 young people with STEM-based learning opportunities

·       680 therapeutic horse riding sessions for individuals with disabilities

To help raise money for the campaign, the Student United Way did their part by selling Gold Rush T-shirts for the annual “Gold Rush” football game, which was held on Sept. 9 against East Carolina University. T-shirts, which were $10 each, were available on campus and online. More than 4,000 shirts were sold, raising $18,775 for the campaign.

“This year was the 10th anniversary of the Gold Rush, and shirt sales at WVU. This tradition is something that every Mountaineer can be proud of as we support the work of the United Way. The Student United Way will continue its efforts to make every future Gold Rush better than the last!” said Student United Way President Abundance Hunt. 

Last year, WVU raised $302,991.00 for the campaign. Since 2005, the University has given the United Way of Monongalia and Preston Counties nearly $3.5 million. WVU has raised more than $250,000 each year for the campaign. WVU is the second largest contributor to the United Way of Monongalia and Preston counties with more than 800 contributors annually.

WVU’s United Way campaign began in 1982, Skeens said, and has been conducted each year since. 

"It's time to create strong and connected communities -- not only in response to a disaster or crisis, but in response to a deep human need that is shared by us all,” Marsh said. “To belong and to thrive together."

-WVU-

as/09/18/17

CONTACT:  Amy B. Skeens
United Way Coordinator
304.322.2065; amy.skeens@mail.wvu.edu 

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