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United Way

Back (l-r): UW leadership co-chairs Alison Watt and Elaine Fairey. Front (l-r) campaign co-chairs Susanne Vlcek and Leigh McGregor.

United Way makes helping others easy

November 13, 2008

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SFU’s annual United Way campaign kicked off a month of fundraising and related activities Nov. 3 and campaign co-chair Leigh McGregor is asking everyone to dig deep to help the university reach this year’s goal of $180,000 and 330 donors. Last year the campaign raised $167,237 in donations and pledges from 318 donors.

Thinking of donating, perhaps for the first time? McGregor has two words for you: payroll deduction. "Then it’s painless," she says. "You don’t have to write out a cheque or pass over credit card information and your tax deduction receipt is right on your T-4 every year."

McGregor, an applied sciences faculty advisor and fellow co-chair Susanne Vlcek, a Continuing Studies administrative assistant, are both volunteering countless hours of their time to make the campaign a success. The same goes for their team of 43 campaign reps at all three campuses and some 10–15 "unofficial volunteers who will always pitch in whatever the cause."

So why do they all do it? "For me," says McGregor, "there are so many people and organizations in need of help it can be overwhelming to decide where and when to direct your donations and your time."

Volunteering—and/or donating—to the United Way makes it easy, she says. "If you’re interested in supporting children and the seniors in the Lower Mainland, the United Way leads the way to hundreds of organizations and many research programs directly aimed at nurturing, educating, and generally supporting these people."

The campaign is still looking for volunteers to help with the bake sales and book sales at Burnaby and Vancouver, say McGregor, noting that people can donate books to the Bennett and Belzberg Libraries at any time. "And we welcome donations of art of any sort for the online silent auction, which we’re planning to start Nov. 17."

Books and baked goods

The Vancouver campus book sale is at Harbour Centre on Thursday, Nov. 13, 9–5 pm. The Burnaby campus book sale is in the north AQ on Tuesday, Nov. 18, 9–7 pm, Wednesday, Nov. 19, 9–5 pm and Thursday, Nov. 20, 9–3 pm. The Burnaby campus bake sale is on Wednesday, Nov. 26, 9–12 noon.

Bake-sale volunteers are still looking for donations of everything from homemade antipasto and jams to home-canned goods and homemade bread, as well as cakes, cookies, muffins and tarts. Contact bbadgero@sfu.ca to contribute. To donate or volunteer, email united-way@sfu.ca or visit: www.sfu.ca/unitedway.

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