On the Daily: University employees raise $1.3 million for human services in Washtenaw County

Monday, February 6, 2017 - 8:47pm

The University of Michigan recently raised more than $1.3 million through faculty and staff donations and volunteer efforts aimed at increasing funding for human services in Washtenaw County.

The United Way campaign is a national organization with local branches that seeks to improve community conditions and togetherness through empowerment, programs for the youth and elderly, education support and aid for the homeless.

The University branch of the United Way campaign focuses on a variety of opportunities and social concerns, including increasing financial stability and providing basic health care and living necessities. According to the campaign’s website, the 2016 campaign raised $1.2 million of a $1.5 million goal.

According to the University Record, more than 500 University employee volunteers turned out in 2016 to give their time to the effort. Contributions to the campaign also came from University units such as Michigan Athletics, the University Musical Society, Nichols Arboretum and MHealthy.

Cynthia Wilbanks, University vice president for Government Relations and the campaign’s co-chair, said to the University Record she expressed great pride in the institution and its employees’ dedication to aiding people living in the communities surrounding the University.

“The employees of the University of Michigan have proven how much they care about our neighbors by their support of the United Way campaign,” Wilbanks said. “This is a better and stronger community because of their generosity. Together we show that we can make a difference in everyday lives.”

The Washtenaw County United Way team also thanked the University for its dedication to their cause.

Pam Smith, president and CEO of the United Way of Washtenaw County, said the University has the most successful campaign of any Big 10 universities and noted the vast impact the contribution will make.

“I would like to personally thank the faculty and staff for their participation in the United Way campaign, once again proving they are the leaders and best,” Smith said. “The University of Michigan provides exemplary leadership and commitment to our community.”