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OHIO meets $50K United Appeal goal

Campaign surpasses last year's total by more than $5,000

Ohio University has raised $50,034 for local charities through its annual United Appeal fundraising campaign. Themed "United 2 Give, United 2 Help," the campaign began Nov. 1.

"We are overwhelmed by the generous gifts from so many individuals," said Executive Director of United Appeal for Athens County Pam Harvey. "Ohio University donors represent the spirit of helping hands throughout our county."

The campaign saw an overall increase in contribution amounts. Last year, 6 percent of faculty and staff collectively raised $44,478. This year, 5.8 percent of faculty and staff contributed to the campaign, exceeding last year's giving totals by more than $5,000.

"The outpouring of support and generosity from OHIO's faculty and staff is unbelievably heartwarming, and I am deeply humbled. Thank you for your kindness," said OHIO's United Appeal Co-Chair Jennifer Kirksey, chief of staff and special assistant to the president.

"The success of this year's campaign is a true testament to the kindness of our employees and the belief that they have in the United Appeal and their member agencies," added United Appeal Co-Chair Jessica Wingett, manager of the Office of Research and Grants at the Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine.

For 57 years, United Appeal has been working to serve the Athens community, providing much-needed financial assistance to health and human service programs throughout the county. This year, the organization partnered with a record 19 local agencies, all of which will benefit from OHIO's fundraising efforts.

According to Harvey, the fundraising will have immediate impacts on local support services, including counseling groups, emergency food and housing relief, mentorship programs and hospice care.

"We couldn't help others without the kind and diligent work from the United Appeal committee members and all the donors who were motivated to make a gift," said Harvey. "The gifts come at a critical time when families in our community need help with mental illness, finding a home, or a place to connect through volunteering. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts. You never know if the lives you touch through your gift just might be those of your neighbors and friends. You've certainly encouraged us."

Kirksey also acknowledged faculty and staff who contribute to United Appeal partner organizations in a myriad of other ways, such as through service, volunteering and advocacy.

"This level of leadership and generosity is making a real difference in the lives of our friends, neighbors and fellow community members," Kirksey said.

Visit http://www.unitedappeal.org/index.htm to learn more about this year's partner agencies and the ways a gift from you can help our neighbors, friends and fellow community members.

NOTE: This story was updated Jan. 17 to reflect the current giving total.

2012-13 United Appeal Campaign Committee Members

Jessica Wingett, Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine

Jennifer Kirksey, President's Office

Monica Chapman, University Communications and Marketing

Chris France, Psychology

Jim Harris, Alumni Relations

Mark Sutton, Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine

Andrew Stuart, Libraries

Eileen Theodore-Shusta, Libraries

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United Appeal