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February 15, 2012

Support United Way and ‘Make Change’ in the Rochester community

University’s annual campaign kicks off Wednesday, Feb. 29

DChange Starts Hereid you know that you can help give a young boy in Rochester a positive and safe place to get help with homework after school? That you can support a homebound elderly man who is unsure where his next meal will come from? That you can help a woman with a disability gain the skills needed to get her first job?

It all starts with pledging your support to the United Way, which has a long tradition of helping those who need it most in the Rochester community.

The University, together with affiliated campaigns at Highland Hospital, the Highlands at Brighton and Pittsford, and Visiting Nurse Service raised more than $1.3 million in last year’s United Way campaign.

This year’s challenge: Raise at least $1.4 million to support the initiatives crucial to the Rochester community. The University’s 2012 campaign kicks off Wednesday, Feb. 29.

Community fund addresses critical needs

United Way’s community fund addresses Rochester’s most critical challenges by supporting programs proven to work. Funded programs focus on prevention, help the most people possible, and are evaluated to make sure that real change is being made in the community.

The fund supports programs according to what the community needs now, by making childhood more enriching, students more successful, old age more of a golden age, disabilities less debilitating, and crisis less frightening.

In 2011, United Way provided $17.84 million to almost 80 programs through the community fund—touching the lives of more than 500,000 people in Monroe County.

This year, there’s even more of a need for the University community to support the United Way, says the University’s campaign director Andrea Demeo, as Eastman Kodak—traditionally one of the United Way’s largest supporters—undergoes a transformation during the bankruptcy process.
“We have a history of stepping up when we need to, to help our community,” she says of the University.

In addition to the community fund, donors may also designate contributions to one or more additional agencies that United Way supports.

Confidential online giving

The ePledge system,, a confidential online donation tool, is available to University faculty and staff. Paper pledge forms also can be downloaded from the University’s United Way website,

Early donor rewards

Pledge before Feb. 29 and you’ll be eligible for a special prize drawing for a Nook tablet, an iPod Touch, restaurant gift certificates, and more. You’ll also be invited to the campaign kick-off breakfast, set for 8:15 a.m. Wednesday, Feb. 29, in the Flaum Atrium at the School of Medicine and Dentistry. Call 224-2871 or send an email to to RSVP. (Note: Continuous pledge donors are also considered “early” donors and, therefore, are welcome to RSVP for the free kick-off breakfast and are already included in the prize drawing.)

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