Wesleyan Considered a Top 10 United Way Supporter

Wesleyan has set at a goal of raising $130,000 through its annual United Way workplace campaign, which kicked-off Oct. 6.

Wesleyan has set at a goal of raising $130,000 through its annual United Way workplace campaign, which kicked-off Oct. 6.

Wesleyan employees can help strengthen lives and improve community conditions in the 15 towns in Middlesex County by participating in the 2009-10 Middlesex United Way Campaign.

Wesleyan has set at a goal of raising $130,000 through its annual workplace campaign, which supports the building blocks of life – education, income, health and housing. Through the agencies it funds, United Way hopes to increase children’s readiness to learn by school entry; increase economic self-sufficiency of individuals and families; reduce the rate of risky behaviors among youth and adults; and increase the ability of individuals and families to attain affordable housing.

The campaign kicked-off Oct. 6.

“All of us can help,” Wesleyan President Michael Roth says. “We can assist a homeless family seeking shelter. We can help young people make good choices about behavior. We can ensure that children are ready to learn when they start school in our towns. We can look after neighbors who experience a devastating disruption of their lives and get them the help they need to recover. United Way supports all these efforts and much more.”

During the 2008-09 campaign, 160 local businesses and organizations, including Wesleyan, raised 65 percent of Middlesex United Way’s total during their annual workplace campaign. Wesleyan contributed $128,348, of which $1,172 was from a student bake sale.

“Wesleyan has always been a generous supporter of United Way, and the theme of ‘Live United’ speaks directly to the spirit of community service at Wes. United Way not only provides essential help for our neighbors with immediate needs, it’s also working to address the root causes of problems, such as homelessness, that people throughout Middlesex County have identified as important to solve,” says Wesleyan Campaign Chair Bill Holder, director of publications, editor of Wesleyan Magazine.

Employees can make a one-time donation or have funds withdrawn once a week, once every two weeks or once a month through Wesleyan’s payroll deduction plan. Department assistants are passing out the forms to employees this month. A raffle drawing will be held with prizes for those making contributions.

According to Andy Heuer community resource development director, Wesleyan is considered a “Top 10 account” and ranks third in total giving.

University employees also volunteer for United Way in key leadership roles. Currently, Frank Kuan, executive director of the Center for Community Partnerships, and Bill Holder serve on the Board of Directors and the United Way Development Council. Kuan also is a member of the Workplace Campaign team, and Holder also is chair of the organization’s Leadership Circle team and is a member of the Marketing Advisory Council. Next year, President Roth will co-chair the Middlesex United Way’s 75th Anniversary Campaign.

Middlesex United Way supports local agencies such as Habitat for Humanity, YMCA of Northern Middlesex County, the American Red Cross Middlesex Central Connecticut Chapter; St. Vincent dePaul Place, Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, Literacy Volunteers of America and the Rushford Center Technical Assistance Program in Middletown, which provides affordable, accessible substance abuse and mental health services that embrace the most current research in prevention, treatment and recovery.

It also supplies funding for the community Health Center Miles of Smiles Program, which provides high quality, affordable medical, dental, mental health and social services to area residents in need. And H.O.P.E. (Housing Opportunities For People Everywhere of Old Saybrook, a grassroots organization dedicated to creating more affordable housing for low-income working families and seniors living on fixed incomes.

A full list of United Way-supported agencies are listed here.

“I hardly need tell you that the need is greater than ever,” says Wesleyan President Michael Roth. “Whether you contribute every year or are considering a contribution for the first time, please take a step to help. Be as generous as you can. Every dollar makes a difference in the life of someone near to us.”

For more information e-mail info@middlesexunitedway.org.