WMU campus United Way campaign returns to ‘make a difference' in our communities

Contact: Deanne Puca

KALAMAZOO, Mich.—Western Michigan University is launching its campaign on Monday, Sept. 18, to support the United Way of South Central Michigan (UWSCMI) and fund charitable programs that make a difference in the greater Kalamazoo, Battle Creek, Jackson and Lansing area.

New this year is a convenient online portal for donations. Those wishing to submit written forms that have been available in past funding drives will be able to do so by emailing Courtney Arnold or calling (269) 387-2072 for a form and returning it to Mail Stop 5247 by Friday, Oct. 27.

“Our commitment to giving extends beyond the boundaries of the University and extends into the community,” says WMU President Edward Montgomery. "The United Way campaign represents a fantastic vehicle to support the causes that hold special meaning to us. We all gain when we give back and support others in our community.”

“The WMU community always brings amazing Bronco spirit to the United Way campaign,” adds Lisa Garcia, chair of the UWSCMI Battle Creek/Kalamazoo Community Leadership Council. “Their support means local lives are changed in powerful ways.”

Donations on behalf of Western faculty and staff will go further this year with the 2022 merger of United Way of the Battle Creek and Kalamazoo Region, United Way of Jackson County and Capital Area United Way, according to Chris Sargent, president and CEO.

“By combining our United Ways, we’re able to tap new resources of funding, create new partnerships advocate for racial and economic equity more effectively, and take a bigger role in leading the impact that our individual United Ways can’t do by themselves,” says Sargent. “That makes our partnership with WMU more important than ever. Every dollar given allows UWSCMI to create an additional $3.50 to support programs serving this community.”

During the first year of its merger, the organization created $26 million in local and regional impact, Sargent adds. Learn more about the UWSCMI’s impact on the community in its 2022-23 report

Western has been a partner with the regional United Way for at least the past two decades, and its faculty and staff have contributed to the institution being a top donor for Kalamazoo. The University paused its official campaign in 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic and is restarting the drive for 2023.

“We’re so grateful for the outstanding support of WMU over the years. You can see the impact of that support in every program those dollars fund—people fed, children clothed, families achieving financial stability, inequitable systems challenged and individuals in crisis getting the help they need,” said Alyssa Stewart, UWSCMI’s chief impact officer.

All campus donations will be collected through Friday, Oct. 27. WMU campaign committee members are  encouraging strong participation by the campus community. For more information, email or visit WMU’s United Way webpage.

For more WMU news, arts and events, visit WMU News online.