Campus United Way campaign set to launch

contact: Deanne Puca
| WMU News
United Way logo.

Distribution of pledge cards is underway.

KALAMAZOO, Mich.−Western Michigan University faculty and staff are invited to help celebrate the University's United Way campaign at 9:15 a.m. Thursday, Sept. 17, on campus.

Robert Miller, WMU associate vice president for community outreach; Kalamazoo Mayor Bobby Hopewell; Portage Mayor Peter Strazdas and regional United Way CEO Mike Larson will join Buster Bronco in front of Sangren Hall to kick off the campaign to raise $275,000 as part of the larger campaign of the United Way of the Battle Creek and Kalamazoo Region.

About the campaign

This year's campaign, titled "Change the Story," identifies three priorities including education, that individuals deserve employment opportunities that provide enough income to support themselves, and a family and should have access to high quality and affordable healthcare.

  • In four years, there has been a 61 percent improvement in early-grade proficiency, thanks to the United Way-supported Early Grade Reading Achievement Program.
  • More than 400 people received assistance to remove employment barriers with the help of the Employer Resource Network, 10 community employers and two success coaches.
  • More than 4.2 million pounds of food were supplied through United Way-supported programs and initiatives, helping to feed hungry children in the Battle Creek and Kalamazoo area.

Those who make any new, undesignated gifts of at least $50, or undesignated gifts that have increased from the previous year by $25, automatically are entered in a drawing by the regional United Way for up to $30,000 toward a new vehicle from one of the sponsoring dealerships. In order to be included in this drawing, pledge forms or completed entry forms must be received at the WMU Office of the President by 5 p.m. Wednesday, Nov.11. The winner will be announced by the United Way of the Battle Creek and Kalamazoo Region Thursday, Dec. 10.

How to give

Distribution of pledge cards to all faculty, staff and retirees is under way. Gifts can be made as:

  • One-time donations by cash, check or credit card.
  • Pledges, payable by payroll deduction, credit card or direct billing from United Way.

This year, the regional United Way is again offering an opportunity to post on Facebook or Twitter a message of support for the campaign through a link on its website, changethestory.org. Using the tag #changethestory and "donating" a tweet or post, the organization hopes to build awareness and support for the campaign.

For more information on the United Way of the Battle Creek and Kalamazoo Region, visit changethestory.org. For questions about making a pledge or donation, or to schedule a United Way meeting in your department, contact wmu-united-way@wmich.edu.

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