The annual United Way campaign kicked-off on Oct. 1 to help local businesses and organizations that provide shelter, health-care services and emergency needs.
Money raised or donated to United Way could go towards providing a hot meal for 35 people, 75 2x4s to help build a house, tutoring and mentoring help for 50 youth or sheltering a family that is homeless for a night.
“We had some guests in that were able to give us testimonials of the value of United Way,” Ferris’ Interim Vice President of Student Affairs Don Flickinger said. “It touches youth, the disadvantaged. It covers this whole group of organizations that support people in the area that live here and are a part of our community all of the time. It’s a way to have support for all of those agencies in one location. They can’t have the success fundraising financially as they can in a group.”
United way covers Mecosta and Osceola counties, assisting agencies in the area including start-up costs or supporting it fully.
“A lot of these agencies wouldn’t be started if it wasn’t for United Way,” Flickinger’s Executive Secretary Linda Telfer said.
The university goal this year is $60,000 and the student goal is $3,000. Students have so far raised $1,700 and there has been talk of a new goal for them.
“The United Way is up all over the community,” Flickinger said. “We have large numbers of faculty and staff
who contribute and participate and we also support the student United Way campaign on campus.”
Fundraisers for United Way have included the Color War, Lip Sync, bake sales, auctions and cook-offs. Contributions to the United Way will go to businesses including W.I.S.E, Hospice of Michigan, Hersey’s House of Hope and more.
“All of the donations that come in through us goes straight to United Way,” Flickinger said. “There is no administrative costs pulled out of the university part at all. Whatever is given by students, staff or faculty on this campus goes directly to them.”
The annual drive will last from Oct. 1 to Nov. 15 but donations will be accepted until Thanksgiving break.