WUSTL’s United Way campaign under way

Halfway through campaign, WUSTL has raised $450,000 to $650,000 goal

Halfway through the WUSTL 2011 United Way campaign, the university community has raised approximately $450,000 toward its goal of $650,000 to support more than 170 United Way of Greater St. Louis agencies.

United Way

These agencies — which offer an array of services to the St. Louis community, including counseling and substance abuse recovery, affordable child care, disaster relief and opportunities for exercise and recreation — serve a large, diverse population of more than 1 million people each year in 16 counties in Missouri and Illinois, approximately one of every three in the St. Louis area.

“The United Way campaign is one very tangible way Washington University can bring enormous benefit to the St. Louis community,” Chancellor Mark S. Wrighton says.

As the university approaches its goal, increasing participation in the United Way campaign becomes all the more critical, Wrighton says.

Last year, the university’s United Way campaign participation rate was nearly 19 percent, compared with approximately 15 percent in 2009.

“With a collective effort, we can continue to grow that number and help many of our neighbors throughout our community,” Wrighton says.

More than 90 cents of each dollar the United Way receives is given to a United Way agency to benefit the community. The United Way distributes more than $1 million in funding every week to United Way agencies.

“Overall, the dollars contributed to the United Way bring great benefit to the community with very low overhead,” Wrighton says.

Washington University’s goal of raising $650,000 for the United Way in 2011 is the university’s most ambitious yet. The campaign began Sept. 7 with a kickoff breakfast in the Danforth University Center.

WUSTL offers employees two ways to contribute: online using the HRMS system, or via pledge cards, which were sent through campus mail to those who have not yet pledged online.

To make a pledge online, visit hr.wustl.edu and use your WUSTL KEY to sign into HRMS Self Service. Click on Employee Self Service and select United Way Pledges. For assistance with passwords, call the Help Desk at (314) 935-5707.

A gift of $200 to the United Way, for example, can provide 40 winter hats for homeless individuals, eight swimming lessons for low-income children, or four parent education classes aimed at preventing child abuse and neglect.

A gift of $50 can provide 10 nutritious meals delivered to homebound seniors, five hearing screenings for school-age children, or one set of play therapy supplies to counsel a child who has been traumatized.

WUSTL’s drive coincides with the United Way of Greater St. Louis’s own $71 million campaign, which is chaired by Daniel J. Ludeman, president and chief executive officer of Wells Fargo Advisors.

The WUSTL campaign officially ends in late October, but the Office of Human Resources will accept pledge cards up until the end of the calendar year and beyond.

For more information about the United Way of Greater St. Louis, visit stl.unitedway.org.

The website also features a video about the United Way at stl.unitedway.org/watchenterwin. Those who watch the video can enter to win gift cards, St. Louis Cardinals tickets or a 2012 Ford Focus.