2012 United Way campaign asks SMU to ‘Give, Advocate, Volunteer’

SMU has set a fund-raising goal of $75,000 for the University’s 2012 United Way campaign – and wants to raise awareness of how the University community can serve Metropolitan Dallas through volunteering with its United Way partners. The drive begins Wednesday, Oct. 17 and continues through Monday, Dec. 31.

The campaign also seeks to raise SMU participation levels, currently hovering at around 10 percent. A total of 338 individual contributions will raise faculty-staff participation to 13 percent, says Jeff Strese, the University’s executive director of human resources and a United Way committee leader.

Over the next several weeks, SMU faculty and staff members will receive e-mails telling the stories of colleagues who have committed to “Give, Advocate and Volunteer” with United Way partner agencies. The United Way committee also plans to survey University community members about their service with United Way partner agencies in an effort to capture and share their impact in the Dallas Metro area, says Abigail Smith, associate director of Graduate Student Experience and Enrollment in the Lyle School of Engineering and 2012-13 Staff Association president.

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The campaign helps support the three pillars – Education, Income and Health – adopted by United 2020. A 10-year program created by the United Way of Metropolitan Dallas, United 2020 will prepare 50 percent more students to succeed in college, move 250,000 additional people out of poverty permanently, and improve community health through expanded access, preventive care and healthy behaviors.

The United Way drive also continues to seek ways to increase student involvement, says faculty co-chair Steve Edwards, professor and director in SMU’s Temerlin Advertising InstituteMeadows School of the Arts. Sophomore pre-business major and Student Senate representative Christos Patelis has joined the United Way committee to focus on peer-to-peer outreach with student organizations, especially fraternities and sororities.

Faculty, staff members and students may make a one-time gift or a choose a monthly payroll deduction.

Learn more from the United Way of Metropolitan Dallas