Kick-off for United Way campaign

Oct 30, 2003, vol. 28, no. 5
By Diane Luckow

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Sherel Loo (left) will hand out a lot of pancakes, coffee and balloons this fall as she works with more than 30 Lower Mainland oganizations to launch workplace campaigns for the United Way.

A fourth-year SFU communication student, Loo is a United Way loaned representative sponsored by SFU through the arts co-op program to assist with the four-month annual fundraising campaign.

President Michael Stevenson, who is on the United Way executive council, supports the SFU loaned representative initiative. “Providing loaned reps is one more example of SFU's commitment to community outreach,” he says.

SFU's United Way campaign kicks off at the Harbour Centre campus on Oct. 28 with a book sale, bake sale and trinkets and treasures jewellery sale from 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. in the main concourse. The Burnaby campus will hold a bake sale on Nov. 4, from 9 a.m. -11:30 a.m. and a book sale on Nov. 4 and 5 from 8:30 a.m.-4 p.m. Both events take place in the AQ north concourse. On Nov. 14, SFU Surrey will hold a samosa lunch from noon-1p.m. in the main lobby and a holiday party on Dec. 11, with all proceeds going to the United Way.

Paulette Johnston, employee campaign chair for this year's United Way campaign, hopes to raise $115,000 in donations, up from the 2002 total of $109,000. “We all know the need is growing,” she says.

“This year we hope to encourage more leadership donors among faculty and staff - people who will donate $500 or more.” She points out that tax benefits bring a $500 donation down to just $325.

Last year, about 12 per cent of SFU's 2,200 employees, or 282 people, made a United Way pledge donation.

This compares to a whopping 30 per cent at the University of Manitoba and 17 per cent at the University of Alberta.

Donors may give via a payroll deduction of several minutes pay each payday, write a cheque to the United Way or make a customized pledge to any recognized charity, including SFU. “The United Way is an umbrella organization that truly reaches a very wide variety of organizations and individuals in need,” says Johnston.

Loo will be on hand to promote the Burnaby book sale. “Working here at the United Way has really opened my eyes to the fact that there are a lot of people in need,” says Loo.

“The United Way supports a network of more than 400 programs in the Lower Mainland and many of them are focused on prevention services to lay the groundwork for a healthy community. That's why supporting the United Way is important - so that these services will be available when we need them.”

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