By Michael Bernaschina, Staff Writer
Susquehanna is currently working with the Greater Susquehanna Valley United Way on their 2017 campaign to raise money for the various groups and organizations they work with.
The Greater Susquehanna Valley United Way, located in Sunbury, is an organization dedicated to enacting positive change within local community by addressing various social issues. The campaign occurs yearly for the organization.
In September the organization focused their efforts on schools for recovery month. Recovery month refers to the designation of a month signifying an increase in awareness of mental and substance abuse.
“Greater Susquehanna Valley United Way fights for the health, education, and financial stability of every person in every community in Northumberland, Snyder, and Union counties by addressing the root cause of social problems,” is the mission of the group, according to their website.
“The proceeds will benefit local non-profit businesses like the YMCAs, there’s two in the area, Boy Scouts, and the Red Cross,” said Elizabeth Grove, Event Coordinator and Administrative Assistant at the Alumni House, who worked at the United Way before coming to Susquehanna.
Non-profit organizations who wish to take part in the campaign fill out applications detailing how much money they need and what they’ll be using that money for.
The committee in charge of running the campus campaign, which includes Grove, Chris Markle, Senior Advancement Officer, Leslie Imhoof, Assistant Director of the SU Annual Fund, Barbara Dennen, Director of Finance in the Finance Office, and Sarah Farbo, the Assistant Director of Service Leaders Program and Career Development in the Career Development Center, spread awareness via email, as well as by sending letters to faculty and staff with the United Way’s brochure.
According to Grove, faculty and staff make up almost all of the money raised, whether it’s through regular donations or yearly pledges.
“We have donors from campus that give every year that we can count on,” Grove said. “We just know that so-and-so will give their usual donation, so that’s nice too, you have your regulars who are very supportive of the United Way. I’d say we probably have like twenty to twenty-five faculty and staff we can count on every year to give to the organization.”
“We try to give incentives to our faculty and staff, that if you give, we’ll enter you in a drawing,” she added.
The prizes included a set of athletic gear, a $50 Amazon gift card, a $100 Amazon gift card, a meal ticket from the campus dining services that’s good for one free meal, and a final, grand prize of a $500 Amazon gift card.
The campaign started in October and is scheduled to end in the later part of January, though Susquehanna University will be ending its campaign at the end of December, says Grove.
In previous years, the campaign hasn’t met its goal, but it being as close as it is this year with a month still left, she’s optimistic. According to Grove, this year’s campaign goal is $1 million, and Susquehanna University’s goal is to raise $25,000 of that total amount.
“Our goal is $25,000, and we’re currently at $18,900, and I’m sure we’re past that now,” she said.
“The United Way, their campaign motto is ‘live unit- ed,’ and I think right now in this time, with everybody kind of on high alert, and with everything that’s been going on, I think ‘live united’ is perfect,” Grove continued. “And it’s time for Susquehanna University to show that we can live united as well, and we can contribute to the community and do great things.”