United Way urges campus to help 'Change the Story'

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Photo of WMU and United Way logos.

This year's campaign theme is "Change the Story."

KALAMAZOO—Western Michigan University will launch its annual United Way campaign with a celebration at noon Wednesday, Sept. 4, in front of Sangren Hall.

This year's campaign, titled "Change the Story," will run through Friday, Nov. 22. The University has established a goal of $300,000, which will contribute to the overall target of the United Way of the Battle Creek and Kalamazoo Region, to be announced Sept. 10.

WMU's campaign kickoff will feature remarks by University President John M. Dunn, who will focus on WMU's commitment to the Greater Kalamazoo community, and by Head Football Coach P.J. Fleck. There also will be a special appearance by mascot Buster Bronco.

See a video, including remarks by President Dunn, here.

United Way

The United Way helps identify the shared needs in education, income and health and brings together the right partners to address them. Investing in the community through United Way supports the well-being of its residents.

  • All children deserve a quality education and the support necessary to realize their full potential.
  • Individuals deserve employment opportunities that provide enough income to support themselves and a family.
  • Individuals should make healthy choices and have access to high quality and affordable healthcare.
  • Everyone is connected and interdependent. When one of us "wins," we all "win."
  • Together, community members restore hope and create the transformational change that others are yearning for.

Drawings and giveaways

Those who make any new, undesignated gifts of at least $50, or undesignated gifts that have increased from the previous year by $50, 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 United Way of the Battle Creek and Kalamazoo Region offices by 5 p.m. Friday, Nov. 15. The winner will be announced Wednesday, Dec. 11.

The WMU campaign also will hold six weekly Friday drawings beginning Oct. 11. All donors are eligible to win prizes that include gift cards from the WMU Bookstore, Miller Auditorium and the Millennium Restaurant Group and tickets to University athletic events. Winners will be notified by email.

Book drive planned

Student fraternity Phi Gamma Delta is collecting preferably new books for children ages pre-kindergarten through third grade as part of the regional United Way's campaign to boost literacy. Books may be dropped off at bins in the Western Student Association's cubicle in the Student Organization Center in the Bernhard Center, at the Waldo Library lobby or given to fraternity representatives at the WMU United Way campaign kick-off event. The book collection will be held throughout the academic year.

Ways to donate

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

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

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 hr_united_way@wmich.edu.