Oct. 19, 2004
By Marisa LongWith autumn comes the changing color of leaves, cooler temperatures, football games and, of course, the annual giving campaign for United Appeal for Athens County.
United Appeal is an independent agency that has been serving Athens since 1956. For more than 45 years, Ohio University has partnered with the organization - raising hundreds of thousands of dollars for the area. United Appeal is the only non-University charitable deduction allowed from Ohio University employees' payroll, making it simple for employees to give back to Athens County.
The University hopes to set a new record this year with the continued support of faculty, staff and emeriti by raising $105,000. The overall goal of the United Appeal for Athens County campaign is to raise $203,000. Last year, Ohio University had 722 donors and raised $88,877 for the organization.
"I've seen first hand the critical need these charities have for donations from United Appeal," says Leonard Raley, vice president for university advancement and a member of the United Appeal Board of Trustees. "Without United Appeal, some of these charities would not be able to serve the citizens in the area because most of them are not equipped to fundraise in this way. United Appeal really provides the fundraising arm that is so necessary for these charities to succeed."
United Appeal helps numerous agencies in Athens County each year. The organization currently assists the local chapters of the Red Cross, Girl Scouts - Seal of Ohio Council, Habitat for Humanity, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Appalachian Community Hospice and many others.
"We operate on the model of 'one stop giving' because donors can benefit so many people in our community with one gift," says Pam Harvey, executive director of United Appeal. "Over the years our mix of member agencies has evolved, but we have always focused on Athens County agencies that serve people in our community."
The president is focused on getting 100 percent participation from University employees throughout the campaign, Raley says. In an effort to raise more funds, McDavis announced Oct. 9 as United Appeal Day and donations were collected at the Bobcat football game. In addition, many Ohio University employees volunteer for United Appeal and a video on the organization was developed and donated by the Ohio University Communications and Marketing department.
"Fundraising for the community is one of the University's goals, and we want people to realize that every dollar counts," Raley says.
University employees can have donations deducted from their payrolls (see related links). If interested in donating to United Appeal or for more information on volunteering at one of the member agencies, visit www.unitedappeal.org.
Marisa Long is a writer with University Communications and Marketing.