WMU United Way launches 2017 campaign with $200,000 goal, children's book drive

contact: Deanne Puca
| WMU News

WMU United Way Book-It logo, Change a Child's Story.Kalamazoo, Mich.—Western Michigan University President Edward Montgomery kicked off the 2017 campus United Way Campaign Sept. 28, announcing its goals of $200,000 and increasing participation by 10 percent to a gathering of supporters at the Bernhard Center.

The event also marked the launch of a children's book drive to jump-start the collection of 1,000 new or gently used books throughout the University community for students in kindergarten through the third grade. The "Book-It" drive benefits a similar effort organized by the United Way of Battle Creek and Kalamazoo Region. Collection bins will be available in buildings throughout campus through Tuesday, Oct. 31. Books for the campaign also may be purchased from an Amazon wish list at  http://amzn.to/2vWBoAF and sent directly to United Way. Text BOOKDRIVE4KIDS to 41444 to pledge money for books.

"There are real problems, and there are real challenges in our community; even if, as a collective, we are doing better," Montgomery told a group of about 30 campus campaign champions. "No gift is too small. It all adds up, it all starts a drumbeat, and all are expressions of caring for our neighbor."

The local United Way emphasizes education as one of its four primary areas to improve the well-being of people in the region in its campaign to "Change the Story." The four overarching goals are to:

  • Improve high school graduation rates.
  • Increase the number of economically stable households.
  • Improve family and infant health and reducing racial and economic disparities.
  • Provide a safety net to help individuals and families access basic necessities in times of need.

University faculty and staff should receive their pledge cards soon. For reasons of privacy, the card is to be returned directly to WMU United Way Campaign, Office of the President, Western Michigan University, 1903 W Michigan Ave, Kalamazoo MI 49008-5202.

Any new, undesignated gift of at least $50, or an undesignated gift to United Way that has increased from the previous year by $25, automatically enters a person into a drawing for up to $30,000 applied to a car of choice from one of the sponsoring dealerships. To be included in this special thank-you drawing, pledge forms must be received at the WMU Office of the President by 5 p.m. Friday, Nov. 10. The winner will be announced by the United Way of the Battle Creek and Kalamazoo Region on Thursday, Dec. 14.

For more WMU news, arts and events, visit wmich.edu/news.

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