By Jennifer Kirksey Smith
Ohio University employees have a chance to do something big this year by contributing to the University division United Appeal for Athens County annual campaign. At this year's campaign kick-off breakfast, Campus Campaign Chairs Alan and Sandy Geiger and Kevin and Nancy Crist, announced that the University goal was to raise $100,000 by Feb. 24.
The University, which met its fundraising goal of $100,000 for United Appeal last year, raised the bar on the level of participation for this year's campaign – hoping 100 percent of the University's employees will contribute to the organization.
"Forty-six percent of the people in Athens County take advantage of these services," said Tim O'Shea, men's head basketball coach and along with his wife, Beth, the 2004 campaign Pace Setter chair. "Our goal is participation."
Because of the money raised through United Appeal's campaign last year, more than 28,000 individuals, out of Athens County's 62,223 population, received help in 2004.
Sandy Shirey, executive director of the Athens County chapter of the American Red Cross, and Mick Harris, vice president of Athens County Habitat for Humanity, talked to the group about how United Appeal has helped their organizations provide much needed services to residents in the county.
"Focus on what your small gift can do to have an impact on those in our community," said Pam Harvey, executive director of United Appeal
Employees will receive pledge cards through campus mail. Donations can be made via payroll deduction or direct contribution using cash, check, VISA or MasterCard. Employees also can choose to be billed quarterly and can designate money to be given to one or all of the 13 health and social service organizations that this annual campaign helps fund. Donors may also designate their gift to a county other than Athens.
United Appeal serves 13 agencies in four groups: emergency agencies, family and seniors, health services and youth services. Some of the agencies included are the Red Cross, Athens County WIC, Retired Senior Volunteer Program, Appalachian Community Hospice and Big Brothers/Big Sisters.
For more information on United Appeal, visit www.unitedappeal.org/.
To donate to United Appeal contact Nancy Crist at 593-1804 or firstname.lastname@example.org or contact United Appeal directly at 592-1293.
Jennifer Kirksey Smith is acting editor of Outlook.