For years, Washington University in St. Louis faculty and staff have supported the United Way through their generous financial support. Now, they may also give the their time to the annual campaign.
Washington University Human Resources and the Gephardt Institute for Civic and Community Engagement have joined together to help employees find volunteer opportunities in the St. Louis region through WashU Engage.
“We know how important the United Way is, but don’t always realize how pervasive its support is and the number of situations and people it touches,” said Legail Poole Chandler, vice chancellor for Human Resources. “Without support from us, and others in the St. Louis area, we lose much needed services and help we may all depend on in some way. Now, we can see our donations in action by immersing ourselves in the community and making a difference together.”
The goal of this year’s annual United Way campaign is $750,000. Employees may make a contribution through HRMS and volunteer through the United Way’s website. Opportunities range from tutoring immigrants in American history to training service dogs to responding to natural disasters.
As an added incentive, Washington University will provide employees matching time — up to a half day — to conduct their service. Employees must volunteer through stlvolunteer.org/wustl and complete their service between Oct. 1 and Nov. 30. Requests for time off must follow standard department or school procedures and must be approved in advance. Visit the Engage and Volunteer site for details.
Stephanie Kurtzman, interim executive director of the Gephardt Institute, said the campaign’s new community service component grew out of conversations among employees who wanted to make a deeper impact in their community.
That precise wish among alumni led the Gephardt Institute and the Washington University Alumni Association to launch WashU Engage. The initiative debuted last spring, and connects alumni to projects in their local communities.
“We wanted to extend WashU Engage to more members of the community and the United Way Campaign provides the perfect opportunity,” Kurtzman said. “WashU Engage deepens our commitment to cultivate informed and actively engaged citizens across the entire Washington University community of faculty, staff, students, alumni and friends.”