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2009.10.12 > For Immediate Release
contact: Wendy Townley - University Relations
phone: 402.554.2762 - email: wtownley@unomaha.edu

Students Encouraged to Support United Way of the Midlands

Omaha - The annual fund drive for United Way of the Midlands is now underway through Oct. 30. Last year the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) was one of the "Fab 40" companies that raised more than $55,000 in employee, corporate and retiree gifts.

"Our gifts always include student participation," said Mary Sweaney, assistant director of Human Resources at UNO. "This year we aim to match and better that goal. One easy way to help is for students to 'round up' their purchases in the UNO Food Court. It's a quick and easy way to make a difference in someone else's life."

Twenty-five facts about the United Way of the Midlands are below.

1. The United Way of the Midlands annual campaign is the metro area’s single largest fundraising drive. More than 1,100 organizations and 80,000 donors participate in the campaign.

2. United Way of the Midland’s annual campaign supports nearly 150 vital health and human service programs in United Way’s Community Care Fund, a “safety net” of services for the people of Douglas and Sarpy Counties in Nebraska and Pottawattamie County in Iowa.

3. United Way of the Midland’s prototype, the Omaha Community Chest, was founded in 1923.

4. The United Way of the Midlands Campaign runs from late August through the first week in November each year.

5. United Way is not a one-issue organization. It addresses the most important human needs of the community.

6. United Way of the Midlands is an alliance of people who care. People who offer a hand to neighbors in need. People who believe we work strongest when we all work together.

7. A United Way organization:
• Is a volunteer-led, nonprofit organization
• Is located in a geographic community
• Seeks and addresses the root causes of key issues
• Is accountable for stewardship of resources,
• Is accountable for short-term & long-term results.

8. United Way organizations must adhere to strict requirements of accountability, transparency, effectiveness and efficiency. To remain a member of the global network, they must prove their compliance with global requirements annually.

9. As a donor, you determine your priorities and United Way will help match those needs to meet the emerging needs of the community.

10. United Way of the Midlands has a proven track record of effectiveness as a leader in cost-efficient fund raising and a quality community planning and allocation service.

11. All of the funds from United Way of the Midlands stay in the community.

12. Pledge cards provide a suggested giving guide that is based on income.

13. Dial United Way 2-1-1, 24 hours a day, seven days a week for information on non-emergency human service needs such as: community programs, counseling services, donations/volunteering, financial assistance, shelter, child care resource and referral.

14. United Way and these partners aim to make our metro area stronger by helping refugees and immigrants become self-sufficient more quickly. Omaha’s newcomers are from more than 45 countries in the Americas, Asia, Africa and Europe.

15. The United Way of the Midlands has a Facebook page geared to reach a younger population that is interested in helping the community.

16. You'll be shocked to hear how many children arrive at kindergarten without very basic learning skills. That means they start school at a big disadvantage. United Way of the Midlands is working with area partners to reach out to friends and family members who care for young children, to make sure the adults do what they can to prepare the little ones for school.

17. The mission of the United Way of the Midlands is to improve lives by mobilizing the caring power of communities.

18. United Way's Volunteer Resource Center is celebrating 53 years of service to the Omaha-Council Bluffs metropolitan area.

19. The United Way of the Midlands has 21 pages of volunteer opportunities at its Web site.

20. The United Way of the Midlands created a Human Care Profile full of statistics that provide a snapshot of living conditions across the eight-county metropolitan area. The report contains nearly three dozen indicators in the areas of financial stability, disadvantaged families, basic needs, health, public safety and education. It’s the only local report that draws these varied indicators together in a single place. This profile has been published annually since 1999.

21. The United Way of the Midlands reports that the average monthly food stamp participation increased more than 50 percent in Iowa between 2003 and 2007, compared to Nebraska’s increase of nearly 25 percent during this same period.

22. The United Way of the Midlands reports that, between 2003 and 2007, violent crime in Nebraska and Iowa increased 3.3 percent and 6.9 percent respectively.

23. United Way and its dedicated partner agencies are changing lives every day, and making our community stronger, too. See which local organizations receive Community Care Fund support.

24. The American Cancer Society, the American Heart Association, Campfire USA, Charles Drew Health Center, Inc., the Child Saving Institute, Girls Incorporated, Kids Can! Community Center, Latino Family Services, the Micah House, OneWorld Community Health Centers, the Ponca Tribe of Nebraska, the Urban League of Nebraska and the YMCA of greater Omaha are just some of the numerous community partners that work with the United Way.

25. You can make a donation to the United Way of the Midlands online: www.uwmidlands.org

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The University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) is Nebraska’s metropolitan university. The core values of the institution place students at the center of all that the university does; call for the campus to strive for academic excellence; and promote community engagement that transforms and improves urban, regional, national and global life. UNO, inaugurated in 1968, emerged from the Municipal University of Omaha, established in 1931, which grew out of the University of Omaha founded in 1908.

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