United Way looking for change
By Sharon Navarro
The United Way kicked-off its fund-raising campaign yesterday with this year's theme, 'The more we care, the more we change.'
"The more we care, the more informed we will become and then there is a greater likelihood that we will change our behaviours to find ways to make things better," said campaign chair Brian Lessard.
One of this year's goals is to raise $260,000 for the programs and social services United Way provides for the London community. The organization's primary goal is to increase awareness on campus and in the community of the need for its organization.
To meet their goals, United Way will be running a series of special events and are trying a new way of reaching potential staff and faculty donors via email.
"We are not expecting a significant increase in donations but we wanted to try a new communications tool," said Kirsten Bennett, co-chair of the 1997 United Way Campaign at Western, adding it should be a long-term benefit. There will still be teams of canvassers collecting donations within each of the professional schools, she said.
"Students have the assumption that money is all that they can give," said Lessard, adding students do not realize they have a much more valuable commodity than money time and enthusiasm. Lessard explained students can give back to the community in the form of volunteering.
"Caring doesn't only have to come from money," said University Students' Council United Way commissioner John Bayliss. As Western students who now live in London, volunteering is a way we can make the city a better place, he said.
There is a lot to do on campus to help achieve the $260,000 goal, he explained. Throughout the month of October, there will be a number of competitions between student groups to raise money as well as weekly events organized by the USC and United Way volunteer team.