Melissa Rhodes

KU campaign for United Way seeking 1,500 donors

Thu, 10/19/2017

LAWRENCE — The 2017 United Way campus fund drive got off to a quiet start Sept. 28, but the goals are just as pressing as in years past.

The Lawrence campaign goal for the KU family is to raise $234,567 from 1,500 donors. KU employees are given the opportunity to contribute through a payroll deduction.

The drive will conclude on Stop Day, Dec. 8. Between now and then, there are many events on campus with the focus on raising money, from a chili cook-off in the provost's office, pumpkin bowling on the lawn, to a "penny war" between KU Libraries departments.

If you see a donation jar, please consider contributing. Every dollar helps.

According to campaign chair Derek Kwan, the United Way affects the community through partnering with 29 local organizations to improve the health, education and financial stability of clients who use the services:

  • In Douglas County, nine United Way agencies work to improve the access to mental and physical health care with the help of more than 1,600 volunteers. Three examples of those agencies are the Visiting Nurses Association, Meals on Wheels and Headquarters Counseling Center.
  • Across the state, 26.6 percent of all fifth-graders performed below grade level in math assessments. Last year in Douglas County, 10 United Way agencies were able to give 4,000 books and school supplies to more than 1,000 students as well as countless volunteer hours to assure all students were given what they need to succeed.
  • The most alarming statistic: One in five people in this community lives below the poverty line. Thanks to volunteers working through 12 United Way agencies, 575 families found or improved their housing and 4,044 Douglas County residents benefited from financial counseling, education and were connected to assistance.

To fully understand how many lives are affected by United Way, you need only to look around at your co-workers like this KU employee or our students.

If you would like to donate your time or get involved, please check out The same website may be used to access services and resources for your own family or call 211 on your phone.

Thank you for giving!

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