Give as little as $1 a paycheck to United Way
The Cornell United Way Campaign has passed its halfway mark, having raised $412,436 of its $790,000 goal. But only one-third of its participation goal of 20 percent has been met: Only 7.25 percent of Cornell faculty, staff and retirees have pledged contributions to date.
To reach that 20 percent participation goal, chairs of the Cornell United Way Campaign encourage staff and faculty to consider giving just $1 per paycheck.
“As noted on our website, this contribution can buy such services as seven home repair applications for seniors in need, two hours of respite care, five days of meals on wheels for one person, lunches for 50 low-income people at the Friendship Center or snacks for youth in after-school and teen programs,” said Cornell campaign chair Paul Streeter, assistant dean for finance and administration at the College of Veterinary Medicine. A gift of any amount has a positive impact, as 100 percent of individual gifts to the United Way of Tompkins County goes directly to support services and programs meeting critical community needs. This is possible because local businesses and institutions, including Cornell, underwrite the United Way’s operating expenses.
United Way supports such targeted areas of care as the Urgent Rx Prescription program and Hunger and Food Security programs, Streeter said, in addition to more than three dozen community service agencies throughout the county. “All United Way agencies and programs are reviewed and outcomes assessed annually by community volunteers to ensure your gift is used effectively to support priority needs,” he said.
To encourage staff participation, the Employee Assembly is holding a prize drawing for any staff member who makes a pledge of $1 or more per paycheck by end of business Nov. 12, the date of the president’s address to staff. Prizes include tickets to Schwartz Center events and to both men’s and women’s hockey games.
Two other events to support the United Way are also planned. The Department of Theatre, Film and Dance has pledged 50 cents of every ticket sold for the Nov. 20 performance of “Our Town” at the Schwartz Center. And on Dec. 4, games, raffles and other activities will begin at 1 p.m., Bartels Hall, preceding the women’s hockey game against Clarkson at 3 p.m. in Lynah Rink. Proceeds from these activities and a matching gift from a group of donors of at least $1 from every game ticket sold will go to the United Way.
Although people can give directly to the United Way, Streeter encourages faculty and staff to give through the Cornell United Way campaign. That way, he said, “you can help inspire others to give and generate pride in the long-standing generosity of Cornell employees. Giving through payroll deductions makes giving more manageable, as the total gift payment can be spread out over the entire calendar year. The pledge card also allows you to designate which programs or agencies, including even United Way agencies in other counties, you would like your contributions to go directly to.”
Bill Fry, dean of faculty and deputy director for the campaign, noted that student participation in the United Way campaign continues to grow. Most recently, A Cappella United, a concert including student groups and special guest Kinetics and One Love, sold out Bailey Hall over Homecoming. Students also joined faculty, staff and retirees in participating in the Stuff the Bus campaign in September. So far, the student campaign has raised more than $11,000.
“A gift of any amount can make a difference,” Fry said. “I encourage those in the Cornell community who can afford to make a gift to learn more about how your gift will impact others by visiting the United Way at http://www.uwtc.org.”