By Colleen Kiphart
One month into the pledge drive, Ohio University is already more than a quarter of the way to its goal.
Since 1956 the United Appeal has served Athens County by supporting community organizations. And, for the last 53 years, Ohio University has been a partner in fulfilling that mission. Pam Harvey, executive director of United Appeal, said, "Ohio University has been there with us since day one."
It is a partnership that makes complete sense to the co-chair for the United Appeal at Ohio University, Vice President of Finance and Administration Terry Conry. He says, "Ohio University has an inescapable obligation and interest to serve our community. United Appeal has a major positive impact on Athens, and it improves the quality of life for the city, where many of our employees live."
This year's fundraising goal for Ohio University is $85,000, and Conry is confident that it will be reached. He says, "We began the fundraiser in the last week of September, and [as of Oct. 22] we have already raised $28,610."
United Appeal distributes funds to organizations in Athens County. This year there are a dozen groups that will receive support. They include the Girl Scouts, the Athens County Food Pantry, Habitat for Humanity and Appalachian Community Hospice. Harvey says, "I have seen a lot of need, even in my own family. Things happen and suddenly someone needs to use the food pantry or hospice care."
Conry says that the United Appeal is an organization whose impact is personal for many members of the Ohio University staff, "We all know someone who has used services that are funded by the United Appeal."
The fundraiser will continue until February, and Conry encourages all of Ohio University to participate. "There is no gift too small," he says, "Give what you can because every little bit helps."