United Way

2013 United Way campaign continues with service to seniors Nov. 22

Peruna and SMU cheerleaders at 2013 DISD Reading Day with the United Way

SMU cheerleaders, including Peruna, joined the United Way and dozens of University faculty, staff and alumni for DISD Reading Day at Lorenzo de Zavala Elementary School in West Dallas. SMU’s 2013 United Way Day of Impact is scheduled for Friday, Nov. 22 at C.C. Young Senior Living.

As SMU’s 2013 United Way campaign continues, faculty and staff members have even more opportunities to “Give, Advocate and Volunteer” in the Dallas community.

• University community members will play games and socialize with residents of C.C. Young Senior Living at 4847 W. Lawther Drive in Dallas, 9:30 a.m.-noon Friday, Nov. 22. The volunteers will also present SMU-themed bingo prizes and other giveaways. There’s still time to join the group; register online through the United Way of Metropolitan Dallas.

• You can also sign up as an SMU In2Books ePal and help a child develop a lifelong love for reading – without even leaving your home. The program matches each volunteer with a 3rd or 4th grader from a high-need school in the Dallas Independent School District. The volunteer and student read the same five books and then share their thoughts about those stories through online communication. The program launched in October and continues through the end of the school year in May. Register online through the United Way.

• The University’s 2013 United Way campaign continues through Friday, Nov. 22. To make a gift, find your customized login code in your next United Way reminder e-mail, arriving Thursday, Nov. 14, and use it at the United Way’s eWay site.

Even after the campaign ends, faculty and staff members can  make United Way contributions through the end of the 2013 tax year. For details, contact Robert Garrett, garrett@smu.edu.

Sign up for SMU’s 2013 Day of Impact with the United Way

SMU ready to read for United Way; 2013 campaign ends Nov. 22

Denton Bricker at Dr. Seuss Day 2013

The more that you read, the more things you will know: McFarlin Auditorium Director of Operations Denton Bricker meets a friend at the DISD’s Dr. Seuss Day 2013.

SMU faculty and staff members will help make Tuesday, Nov. 12, 2013 a special day for DISD school children – and there’s still time to join the University volunteers who will visit Lorenzo de Zavala Elementary School at 3214 N. Winnetka Avenue, West Dallas, for Dallas ISD Reading Day 11-12-13.

> Sign up for Dallas ISD Reading Day 2013 at Zavala Elementary

You’ll get the opportunity to read to and chat with children in grades ranging from pre-K to 5th in partnership with the United Way of Metropolitan Dallas.

The University’s 2013 United Way campaign continues through Friday, Nov. 22. To make a gift, find your customized login code in your United Way reminder e-mail dated Thursday, Nov. 7, and use it at the United Way’s eWay site.

Even after the campaign ends, faculty and staff members can  make United Way contributions through the end of the 2013 tax year. For details, contact Robert Garrett, Business Services.

SMU reads for the United Way; 2012 campaign ends Dec. 31

SMU at Saldivar Elementary, Dallas Reads 12-12-12SMU faculty and staff members celebrated a once-in-a-century day with DISD school children on Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2012. About 50 members of the University community visited Julian T. Saldivar Elementary School near Bachman Lake for Dallas Reads! 12-12-12. The participants read to and chatted with children in grades ranging from pre-K to 5th in partnership with the United Way of Metropolitan Dallas.

The University’s 2012 United Way campaign enters its final days as the tax year draws to a close. The deadline for contributions counting toward this year’s goal of $75,000 is Monday, Dec. 31, 2012. To make a gift, find your customized login code in your United Way reminder e-mail dated Thursday, Dec. 13, and use it at the United Way’s eWay site.

SMU Staff Association 2012 toy drive continues through Dec. 20

Stock photo of a wrapped holiday giftIn keeping with annual tradition, the SMU Staff Association has organized a holiday drive to collect toys, games and other gifts for United Way partner Children’s Medical Center.

The Staff Association is accepting nonviolent, unwrapped toys ranging from dolls and action figures and related accessories, to board and handheld games and puzzles. All items should be new and unused, as well as appropriate for children.

Find more toy drive details at the SMUSA site

SMU community members may bring items to the SMUSA Holiday Luncheon, scheduled for 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 29, in the Martha Proctor Mack Grand Ballroom, Umphrey Lee Center. In addition, toys can be dropped off at these designated donation locations through Thursday, Dec. 20:

  • Children's Medical Center logoBlanton Student Services Building, 1st floor by the elevator
  • Dallas Hall, Rotunda, 1st floor
  • Expressway Tower (East Campus), 2nd floor, Suite 200 (near Human Resources)
  • Expressway Tower, 1st floor, Parking and ID Card Services (Park ’N Pony)
  • Perkins Administration Building, 1st floor by the elevator

Additionally, Park ’N Pony is renewing its successful Toys for Tickets program, created in 2011 by Parking and ID Card Services Director Mark Rhodes. In a new twist added for 2012, each person who brings a toy directly to the Parking and ID Card Services Office for donation will be entered in a drawing to win $50 added to their Pony Express account.

Through Thursday, Dec. 20, SMU faculty, staff and students may pay off outstanding campus parking tickets with new, non-violent, unwrapped toys of a value equal to or greater than the cost of the tickets. The toys will be donated to Children’s Medical Center.

The program applies only to unpaid SMU parking tickets issued for unauthorized parking, parking without a permit, over-time parking or improper display of a permit. To participate, bring your parking tickets and a receipt for the toys to the Park ’N Pony office, Suite 101, Expressway Tower between 8:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday-Friday.

Visit the SMU Staff Association online

SMU’s United Way drive exceeds goals, with room to grow in 2012

United Way of Metropolitan Dallas logoSMU’s 2011 United Way campaign ended with $70,723 raised, exceeding its fund-raising goal of $70,000. Now a different kind of campaign is set to begin – one to create service opportunities for faculty and staff members and build year-round awareness of community needs.

The University’s United Way Committee is planning faculty-staff volunteer trips to partner agencies Goodwill Industries and Dallas Lighthouse for the Blind during the spring 2012 term, says Steve Edwards, professor of advertising and Faculty Senate president-elect. Edwards co-chaired SMU’s 2011 United Way campaign with Assistant Dean of Central University Libraries Bill Dworaczyk, Staff Association past-president.

“We want to give our campus community the opportunity not just to see how our money is being spent, but to further reach out and serve the communities in which we live,” Edwards says. “Faculty and staff members will bring their volunteer experiences back to the University, and we plan on sharing what we learn during these service opportunities in newsletters, videos, and at faculty and staff meetings around the campus. Our goal is to mobilize United Way supporters at SMU by letting them share the good works provided by this community’s donations.”

The 2011 campaign saw a 19.6% increase in SMU participation over the 2010 campaign, yet there is plenty of room for those numbers to grow, Edwards says. “We are making progress in getting the SMU community to recognize the value of the United Way. Still, for 2011, about 10% of our number made a monetary donation. That means we need to do a better job in communicating the needs that exist in the Dallas area and the important service that the United Way provides in making sure recipient agencies are using the money efficiently.”

Faculty and staff members can also increase participation by making some of their usual charitable contributions through SMU’s United Way campaign, Edwards adds. “Recently I spoke to a fellow faculty member who told me he had just discovered that Children’s Medical Center is a United Way partner. He told me that next year he will make his donation through SMU. This is the kind of information we must get out to the campus community.”

In 2011, SMU became the first United Way donor organization to use a text-to-give option in a campaign, an initiative spearheaded by Jennifer (JJ) Jones of Student Development and Programs. The new program – which allows donors to send $10 through a text message – achieved its goal of increasing student involvement, yet it was not the only successful new program for the year.

Toys collected for Children's Medical Center in SMU's 2011 Toys for Tickets holiday programThe campaign also achieved significant boosts from innovations such as Park ’N Pony’s  “Toys for Tickets” parking-citation forgiveness program, Edwards says. The initiative allowed SMU students, faculty and staff members to get waivers for outstanding parking fines in exchange for toys of value equal to or greater than the amount due. The toys (pictured left) were donated to United Way partner Children’s Medical Center.

“Between our toy-drive collection boxes on campus and the Toys for Tickets program, we had a Suburban and a Toyota filled to the brim with toys to deliver to Children’s,” says Darrah Rippy, senior manager of academic scheduling in the Office of the Registrar and SMUSA’s vice president of service and activities.

In addition to the toys, SMUSA also collected $240 in cash and gift cards, Rippy adds. “I know the staff at Children’s was thrilled to receive such a wonderful donation, and we felt really blessed to be able to bring a little Christmas cheer to the children who spent the holidays in the hospital.”

SMUSA plans to continue both its toy drives and Toys for Tickets “for as long as Children’s Medical Center remains a United Way Member Agency,” says Denton Bricker, McFarlin Auditorium manager and 2011-12 SMUSA president. “We always support a United Way agency to help with SMU’s campaign efforts.”

The campaign’s momentum came from the top as well, Edwards says. “Meeting with President Turner early in the campaign to secure his active support helped educate the SMU leadership and Council of Deans. Getting University administrators to understand the true impact of the United Way allowed them to become advocates for the campaign itself.

“These programs would not have been possible without the support of the SMU administrators heading up these units, and we thank them all,” Edwards says.

President Turner saluted the campaign’s success in his “State of SMU” address during the 2012 Staff Recognition Ceremony Feb. 16. “If we claim to be Dallas’ university – and during this centennial era we’re really affirming it – then we need to show that we can give as well as receive. This year is the first year we’ve passed $70,000, and I thank everyone involved for doing that.”

The United Way does not stop working just because the campaign is not active, Edwards points out. In response, the committee is planning a series of activities to engage the SMU community throughout the year.

“We want to share the success of the campaign and let people know that their contributions are appreciated,” Edwards says. “We want people to know what their money will buy.” Specifically, he says, almost $71,000 will change 710 lives in the following ways:

  • Provide routine dental care to 474 low-income children so they can avoid costly health problems later in life.
  • Provide financial education for 147 young mothers so they can raise their children in a stable home.
  • Provide tutoring and mentoring services to 89 low-income children so they can be the first in their family to attend college – and make sure they’re ready for the challenge.

The committee will share news about upcoming United Way service opportunities and profiles of partner agencies throughout the spring term.

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