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Competition to Give Back: UC San Diego Kicks Off Annual United Way/CHAD Campaign

The Early Childhood Education Center promoted a staff “Live United” T-shirt day to raise awareness for the UC San Diego United Way/CHAD campaign last year.

The competition has officially begun to see which vice chancellor area, or the chancellor’s office, can inspire the most participation in supporting the annual UC San Diego United Way/CHAD Campaign. Running from Feb. 13 through April 11 this year, the campaign is a call to action encouraging campus staff and faculty to play a role in strengthening the San Diego community.

The theme of the 2014 UC San Diego United Way/CHAD campaign is “Be the Bridge to a Brighter Future: Volunteer. Donate. Live United.” For more than 30 years, UC San Diego has partnered with the United Way of San Diego County to support solutions for tough community issues, from homelessness to access to education.

“Public service has always been an integral part of our mission,” said Chancellor Pradeep K. Khosla. “UC San Diego has a unique spirit of service, and I’ve been impressed with the social awareness and civic engagement of our Triton community.”

UC San Diego ranks among the top contributors in the region to the United Way; collectively, campus individuals have donated more than $1.3 million over the past five years. During the 2013 UC San Diego campaign, the campus raised a total of $148,000 thanks to the participation of nearly 20,000 campus employees.

By focusing on areas of education, health, homelessness and income, the United Way works to improve the lives of all San Diegans and thus, strengthen the region as a whole. The organization’s efforts include financial education and job training for youth and adults, finding permanent housing for the chronically homeless and equipping parents with skills and resources to ensure the success of their children.

To encourage participation and enthusiasm on campus throughout the campaign, every year the vice chancellor areas and chancellor’s office compete in “the race for the trophy.” Each week, the area that increases its participation the most wins the coveted UC San Diego United Way/CHAD trophy. At the end of the campaign, the trophy goes to the area with the highest overall increase in participation.

The chancellor’s office is the reigning winner, with a participation increase of 2.6 percent—and a total participation of nearly 21 percent—in 2013.

Campus employees can join the campaign by making an online one-time or recurring donation (via payroll deduction) through the campaign webpage on Blink. A downloadable PDF pledge form is also available on the webpage.

For those interested in giving back by giving their time, the United Way has numerous volunteer opportunities, from tutoring and mentoring young students to serving at a local food bank.

In addition to supporting the San Diego community, donors may choose to designate their campaign gift to a number of UC San Diego departments and organizations, ranging from research programs to graduate student fellowships and undergraduate scholarships.

Community Impact

UC San Diego partners with the United Way of San Diego County to improve education, income and health in the region—building blocks for a better life and better community. Following are a few examples of UC San Diego organizations and community programs supported through the United Way.

  • Bright Futures – Bright futures is a community program that teaches money-smarts, job training and soft skills to youth and young adults, helping to improve their employment opportunities. In addition, the United Way supports Ways to Work, which offers short-term, affordable car loans, financial education and coaching to transform the lives of working families with challenged credit.
  • Early Childhood Education CenterUC San Diego’s Early Childhood Education Center houses a full-time child-care center serving children 3 months to 6 ½ years old. Open to the children of full-time UC San Diego students, staff and faculty, as well as a limited number of non-UC San Diego affiliates, the center offers a carefully designed environment that encourages the social, emotional, intellectual and physical development of young children.
  • Project 25 – United Way launched Project 25 in 2010 to find the region’s costliest homeless population—frequent users of ambulance rides, emergency rooms and police resources—and place them in permanent housing with support services. Results of Project 25 show a 64 percent decrease in ambulance rides, 65 percent decrease in emergency room visits and a 66 percent decrease in arrests for 2012.
  • Regional Burn CenterThe Burn Center at UC San Diego Health System provides leading-edge treatment to residents of San Diego and Imperial Counties who have experienced major or minor burns. Each year, the center admits approximately 450 burn victims and hundreds more are treated as outpatients at the burn clinics.
  • Young Parents Program – United Way’s Young Parents Program helps young mothers and fathers learn parenting skills to connect emotionally with their children and break cycles of abuse and neglect. Of 300 participants, 80 percent reported decreased stress, while increasing the health, safety and well-being of their children.

To learn more about the 2014 UC San Diego United Way/CHAD campaign, visit unitedway.ucsd.edu.