United Way campaign aims to increase participation

The BGSU 2007 United Way Campaign officially kicked off Sept. 12. The goal is $125,000, or 10 percent more than last year’s total of $112,724. This year, the campaign team is emphasizing the University’s connection to agencies and efforts within Wood County, such as the new Teen Center, the Cocoon women’s shelter and the Wood County Humane Society. 

“It’s important for potential donors to realize that by giving, they are helping improve the lives of children and families in our community,” said Dr. Bob DeBard, higher education and student affairs, who is chair of this year’s campus campaign. 

Last year, 601 full-time employees and 62 retirees donated to the campaign. “We would like to raise the level of giving so that everyone is involved,” said DeBard.

Another goal is to increase the number of leadership gifts of $1,000 or more. Fifth Third Bank and The Andersons have created a challenge grant program that matches every $1,000 gift.

One of the most exciting new options available to donors this year is the BG Teen Center, according to Executive Vice President Linda Dobb. The center is staffed by BGSU students and is designed as a safe place for local teens to meet and study.

Again this year, the campaign will be conducted in conjunction with Northwest Ohio Community Shares. In Wood County, the major agency benefiting from this partnership is the Wood County Humane Society.

“What donors need to realize is that they have the right to put down any local charity on their pledge form. We just want to encourage giving,” said DeBard. “So many people benefit when our community gives from its heart.”

September 17, 2007