A Little Help Goes A Long Way for the Triple Crown of GivingPosted Oct. 29, 2012 | Megan Confer
The 2013 Kent State University United Way Workplace Campaign, with the theme the “Triple Crown of Giving,” will run through Oct. 31, 2012. Today, throughout Portage County, 13.7 percent of residents live in poverty. Food banks and shelters are struggling to meet the demands of those in need. Any donation helps.
The goal of the campaign this year is to triple the participation rate of Kent State faculty and staff members from 15 percent to at least 45 percent. This year’s campaign is focused on participation of faculty and staff, and not on a set dollar amount. The campaign thus far is about a quarter of the way to its goal of 45 percent participation.
United Way subcommittees from the Division of Information Services and the College of Nursing recently toured two sites run by Family and Community Services: the Center of Hope and the County Clothing Center. Both sites are two of the dozens of programs funded by the United Way. Subcommittee members were able to see firsthand the amount of need right here in Portage County.
“After the tours, I felt more connected,” says Paul Sciara, Information Services subcommittee member. “I was able to see exactly where my donations have gone.”
Center of Hope has a strong connection to Kent State. Each week, the Campus Kitchen at Kent State provides 250 meals for individuals in need who are serviced by Kent Social Services, Center of Hope and Springtime of Hope. Kent State also sets up “Throw and Go” donation bins at the end of the year to collect unwanted items that can be reused by the County Clothing Center.
The centers rely entirely on private donations; they do not receive government funding.
“The three main things I learned from the tour is reuse, reduce and respect,” says Margaret Misra, Information Services subcommittee member.
Money and donations are not wasted.
“For example, any leftover bread they have they barter with local farmers in exchange for eggs,” says Barb Tyner, College of Nursing subcommittee member. “Any leftover food is packaged and sent home to individuals in need who aren’t able to visit the centers.”
With the holidays fast approaching, the centers are anticipating an overwhelming 1,200 families seeking resources. The centers are in need now more than ever of donations and participation in the United Way Campaign, Misra explains.
“Even two dollars will help,” says Chris Hallahan, lead IT user support analyst, who also visited the sites. “Small pledges make a big difference.”
Hallahan says that there also is a social aspect to the program.
“People counsel each other. They’re friends; they check on each other,” says Misra.
As the "Triple Crown of Giving" campaign reaches a close, pledging – and advocating to co-workers to pledge – will make a difference toward achieving the goal.
To give to the United Way, sign-in to FlashLine. In FlashLine, select the My HR Tab. Once in the My HR tab, select United Way E-give within the Employment Details section. There is the option to give through payroll deductions. You also can designate your donation to a United Way supported agency or agencies of your choice. For more information, visit www.kent.edu/unitedway.