Staff members at the Early Childhood Education Center wear their “Live United” T-shirts to raise awareness for the UC San Diego United Way/CHAD campaign.
Every February, posters for UC San Diego’s United Way/CHAD Campaign begin to appear in campus elevators, break-rooms, hallways and offices. Invitations to fundraising events and requests to make a pledge to the campaign follow. For some, that’s where their involvement with the campaign ends. For others, like Carolina Berys-Gonzalez, a staff member at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, it is just the beginning.
Berys-Gonzalez recently volunteered with the United Way of San Diego County in a mock interview program for teenage and young adult refugees, as well as at-risk youth. As she talked with the students about their skills and experiences, she was amazed by their ambition and desire to give back. One girl, an international business major at San Diego City College, said she wanted to open a clinic abroad to help those who don’t have access to medical care. Another young man, who had been displaced as a teenager, talked about his goal of becoming a mechanic and his experiences building greenhouses and irrigation systems. They were participating in the program to learn the basic job skills that they will need to accomplish their goals—from resume writing and interviewing to professional etiquette.
UC San Diego has partnered with the United Way of San Diego County for more than 30 years. Here’s a glimpse at what that partnership means for the community:
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“After volunteering, I thought, ‘Oh! This is what United Way does,’” said Berys-Gonzalez. “It is about helping people to better themselves, because we all have received help in one way or another. These are people who are actively trying to improve their lives, and we as a community are helping them to do so. It was really heartwarming to see.”
For more than 30 years, UC San Diego has partnered with the United Way of San Diego County to strengthen the local community, focusing on improving education, income and health—the building blocks for a better life and better community. Thousands of campus employees have participated by contributing their dollars, time and effort to the annual UC San Diego United Way/CHAD Campaign, which runs from mid-February to mid-April each year.
“A university must enrich its local community before it can impact the world,” said Chancellor Pradeep K. Khosla. “I am proud of our campus members for coming together to support this cause so that we may collectively make a difference in the lives of our neighbors.”
The theme of UC San Diego’s 2013 United Way campaign, which runs through April 12, is “Live United for a Brighter Future: Imagine the Impact of Your Support.” Funds raised will support a variety of community programs, including those that help children and youth achieve their potential through education initiatives, teach financial self-sufficiency to families and youth, and help the homeless to get off of the streets.
In addition to supporting programs in the San Diego community, donors may choose to designate their campaign gift to a number of different areas at UC San Diego, from scholarships to research, which in turn benefit the community. Among the campus areas impacted by the United Way campaign are:
In an effort to help generate enthusiasm for the campaign, the chancellor’s office and six vice chancellor areas are again competing in a “race for the trophy.” For each week of the campaign, the area that increases its participation the most will host the travelling UC San Diego United Way/CHAD campaign trophy. At the end of the campaign, the trophy will go to the area with the highest overall increase in participation, with the area’s name inscribed on the trophy as the official 2013 winner. Last year, the chancellor’s office earned the trophy with a total overall participation increase of 16.28 percent. To track the competition in real time, visit http://unitedway.ucsd.edu/unwchart/.
Campus employees can make an online one-time or recurring donation (via payroll deduction) to the UC San Diego United Way/CHAD campaign through the campaign webpage on Blink. A downloadable PDF pledge form is also available on the webpage to contribute by either method.
For those interested in giving back by giving their time, the United Way is currently recruiting volunteers to serve as readers, tutors and mentors for children and youth in the community. Visit their website to learn more and become a volunteer. Additional service projects are listed as available.
The United Way/CHAD campaign is one of many ways that UC San Diego engages is public service. For three consecutive years, the campus has ranked first in the nation by the Washington Monthly’s College Guide based on the positive impact the university has had on the country. In addition, UC San Diego has been named to the President’s Community Service Honor Roll for the past four years. From student service organizations and Volunteer50 to Thurgood Marshall College’s public service minor, the campus is committed to making a difference in the local community, across the region and abroad.
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