University, Wood County United Way campaign to raise $450,000 for charity

William Channell and William Channell

The United Way of Wood County has begun fundraising this year, which includes activities on campus.

The United Way is a coalition of philanthropic organizations and charities that has an emphasis on helping people by with education, income and health. Through fundraising, the organization allocates money to those different charities.

The University has its own campaign separate from Wood County’s.

Sara Bushong, dean of libraries at the University, said the campus United Way fundraising campaign started in October and goes through the end of November, during which University faculty, students and staff can choose what charities they want to support.

The University set a goal of raising $100,000 this year. Wood County’s goal is $350,000.

Bushong said the United Way encourage community involvement.

“[The United Way] really advocate for volunteering,” Bushong said. “They’re a vehicle for donors to be able to help people in our area.”

The United Way has hosted events on campus this year, most prominently an ice cream social and silent auction on Wednesday, where people could bid on baskets created by different offices on campus centered on different issues. A similar event was hosted last year, which alone raised $1,100.

“We have some smaller student oriented baskets that will go at a variety of price ranges,” Bushong said. “We hope the students will find something they might be interested in just looking at. Plus, the ice cream is free.”

Sarah Swegan, development officer for The United Way in Wood County, said fundraising county-wide has improved this year over last year.

“We’re doing well right now,” Swegan said. “A lot of people are outpacing last year.”

Swegan said the same goal is set every year, and donors this year are meeting that goal.

“We always aim for ten percent above what we made last year.” Swegan said. “Everybody is hitting that ten percent raise, which is great.”

Katie Post, a student representative to the United Way board, said the campus campaign benefits the University.

“It puts more focus on BGSU as a whole,” Post said. “Our goal of raising $100,000 from BGSU faculty, staff and students is, I think, motivating to the BGSU community, and it definitely sheds a positive light on the University.”