Members of the Mizzou community gathered on Traditions Plaza Sept. 11 to celebrate the launch of the 2015 University of Missouri System and Mizzou Campus United Way Community Campaign. Appropriately celebrated this year on the newest campus landmark, the UM/MU and Heart of Missouri United Way (HMUW) partnership is a more than 15-year tradition.
“Friday’s event really was a celebration of the longstanding partnership between Mizzou and the Heart of Missouri United Way and to raise awareness and excitement for the 2015 campus campaign,” said Andrew Grinch, Mizzou Campaign tri-chair and associate athletic director of external operations and content.
Truman, along with members of the Mizzou Spirit Squads and Marching Mizzou encouraged school spirit prior to the event speakers. Kona Ice and Grill-A-Brothers food trucks provided food to the event attendees, with a percentage of the sales going to the Mizzou campaign.
The 2015 campaign theme is Just One More, and the goal is to raise $600,000 by Dec. 1. According to honorary campaign chair Chancellor R. Bowen Loftin the theme encompasses the power of one person in the integrated communities of Mizzou, Columbia and Boone County.
“We are in this together,” Loftin says. “We are inseparable, and we can’t be torn apart. I encourage you to give just one more donation to help just one more person in need that you may never meet.”
This is the fourth year the United Way has used the Community Impact Strategy, which focuses on supporting four target areas over the traditional fundraising model. While helping people with emergency needs, United Way also creates deep and lasting changes by addressing the underlying elements that are the building blocks for successful lives and communities.
The Heart of Missouri United Way leverages donations by working with agency partners who allocate services to community members in need. Many of the agencies have direct ties between the Mizzou campus and community, providing educational and training opportunities for MU students. Leigh Neier, campaign tri-chair and assistant teaching professor in the College of Education, says a deeper connection often exists.
“The fact of the matter is that some members of our own Mizzou family — our faculty, staff and students — rely on support from these agencies in their own lives,” Neier says. “As a citizen of the greater Columbia community, Mizzou recognizes we cannot expect private donors to drive support for these agencies. It is critical that we do our part.”
Faculty, staff, students and community members can designate where they want their donation to go, which is a new feature of the 2015 campaign. They can designate donations to the main fund, an agency partner or one of the four United Way target areas: education, income, health and safety-net services.
“The true power of the campaign theme this year is that as faculty and staff, we can give just one more dollar, we can send one more email to a colleague to share the campaign video and we can buy just one more t-shirt to show our support,” Neier says. “One more Mizzou Tiger can help us reach our goal.”
To find more information about the campaign and to donate, go to www.uwheartmo.org/MIZZOU_Campaign.
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