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February 19, 2014

‘Live United’ for Rochester community

Live United

Ensuring hungry families have food to eat. Providing homeless teens with a place to sleep. Allowing seniors to stay in their homes. Giving kids a healthy start.

These are just a few ways University employees can make a difference with a donation to United Way.
The University’s goal this year is to raise $1.4 million to help the greater Rochester community.

“The University’s support of the annual United Way campaign is vital to continuing proven programs and services,” says Andrea DeMeo, director of the University’s campaign. “Donations stay right here in our community and make a measurable difference to those who are struggling. It takes all of us working together to build a healthy, vibrant community.”

Donors can designate their gifts to select charities or give to the community fund, which helps fund the United Way’s priority programs:

Delivering basic needs

According to the United Way, 98,000 people in Rochester don’t know where their next meal is coming from each day. One in three people in Rochester live in poverty—one in six is a child. The community fund provides outreach and services for homeless teens, helps stock food pantries and clothing closets, helps families prevent foreclosures, and more.

Supporting seniors and caregivers

The United Way reports that one in four Monroe County residents are 55 or older. Seventeen percent of local seniors live in poverty, and one in three lives alone. United Way programs provide support services such as fall-prevention classes, home-delivered meals, and intervention from abuse.

Giving babies the best start

Half of Rochester’s babies, toddlers, and young children are living in poverty, according to the United Way. There are more than 2,000 child abuse and neglect cases annually in Rochester. The United Way provides parenting programs and intervention and screening services that focus on reducing child abuse rates and treating learning delays for students entering kindergarten.

Preparing kids for success Rochester ranks seventh among U.S. cities for the highest child poverty rates, according to United Way statistics. One in six kids who are not reading proficiently by third grade fail to graduate from high school. After-school programs, summer learning programs such as field trips and art classes, and mentoring programs that pair students with a caring adult help kids have better attendance at school and higher grades.

Help the University help the community

In 2013, University-sponsored programs such as the Mt. Hope Family Center, Visiting Nurse Service, Strong Hospital’s Baby Love, and Horizons at Warner received more than $1.6 million from the United Way of Greater Rochester for programs supporting young families, students,  and seniors.

Perks for pledging early

The University’s 2014 United Way campaign officially kicks off next month, but the ePledge tool went live Feb. 19 for those who wish to pledge early. Make your pledge by March 7 for a chance to win an iPod Mini, a Nook e-reader, passes to local attractions, and more. Early pledgers are also invited to the campaign breakfast at 8:15 a.m. Tuesday, March 11, in Flaum Atrium at the Medical Center. Continuous pledge donors can view and modify their pledges online until 5 p.m. Friday, March 7.

Visit www.rochester.edu/unitedway to learn more about this year’s campaign.

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