Today we launch Seattle University’s United Way of King County Charitable Campaign, and I invite your support in this important effort, which continues through Wednesday, Nov 23.
While the region we call home is blessed in so many ways, we know there are far too many among us who are struggling. Inflation and rising interest rates have combined with our already high cost of living to put many households in our community under stress. So many are hurting, and as a Jesuit university we are especially called upon to do our part to help.
In this spirit, I ask you to consider contributing what you can to Seattle University’s United Way campaign. You can give online by visiting the United Way of King County Campaign - Seattle University website. If you have questions about donating online please contact the United Way at 206-461-5005 or at email@example.com. If you have questions about donating through payroll deduction please contact Rita Lin at firstname.lastname@example.org.
At the same time, I recognize and understand that many are not in a position to participate in the campaign, because you are dealing with some of the same challenges I mentioned at the opening of this letter. Financial support is just one of many ways to address the critical needs in our community, and I know that many of our faculty and staff (and, of course, students) are generous in giving of their time and talents. Whatever form your involvement takes, please know I am grateful for your commitment to bettering the lives of those around you.
Our United Way campaigns have historically enjoyed great success thanks to those who have helped lead the effort as co-chairs and ambassadors. This year, we are trying a slightly different approach, and I am grateful that Vice President Edgar Gonzalez and Anne Moran from the President’s Office will lead our campaign with assistance from Rita Lin (Payroll). Over the next couple of weeks, we will be sharing information about the many United Way programs.
Thank you for considering this invitation to participate in Seattle University’s United Way of King County Campaign and for all that you do – everyday – for our students and university.
Eduardo M. Peñalver
In keeping with Seattle University’s mission of service and justice, our generous support of United Way goes back many decades—indeed, this relationship has been an important part of our history. Every year, with every dollar donated and every hour volunteered, we enable the United Way’s efforts to help students graduate, ensure families are financially stable, empower students to graduate and bring people together.
When we have the opportunity to support members of our community in meaningful and impactful ways with a focus on equity, justice, solidarity, and liberalization, we increase access to education, professional development opportunities and creating strong community links that will reverberate over generations. Everyone deserves a chance to be seen, heard, and supported for a brighter future.Natasha Malyuk Premajor Studies Program, College of Science and Engineering
The Albers Accounting Department partners with United Way of King County for our Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program. Our program is over forty years running, and we have been partnered with UWKC for the last decade. Last year our UWKC/SU site filed 652 returns for low income wage earners which generated $779,686 in refunds and $241, 330 in Earned Income Tax Credit, bringing much needed funds back into the community and to the families that could really use them.Jani Medeiros Administrative Assistant, Accounting Department, Albers
For me, giving back started at home. My father was an orphan & at-risk youth & had no support systems until a coach directed him to community services. My Dad constantly reminded us of his story by having us provide food baskets, clothing, and support for those in need in our community. This is an important value in life, immeasurable to my own formation. The need in the community is all around. For my Dad, he would have been lost without these services.Michelle Clements, MBA Former Vice President for Human Resources
As an ESL teacher at NSCC about 15 years ago, an Ethiopian refugee student came to me in distress a few days before Thanksgiving. This man had been a well-respected lawyer, and had fled Ethiopia fearing for his life. He and his family had lost their housing in Seattle. His wife and three kids were couch surfing, and he was sleeping in the family car. His story brought us both to tears. A United Way program like Bridge to Finish could have helped him. That's one reason I support United Way.Margaret Moore Honored Staff Retiree
United Way of King County not only does amazing work in the community at large, but their staff donates several pro bono hours of service as well. Last April, UWKC's (now retired) CEO Jon Fine, served as a judge and keynote speaker at Seattle University's Red Winged Leadership Awards https://www.seattleu.edu/business/centers-and-programs/red-winged-leadership-award/. UWKC walks the talk!Randy Massengale, MSM Adjunct Faculty, Albers School of Business and Economics
I would like to share little things with others.Wan Bae, Ph.D. Associate Professor, College of Science and Engineering
Its important to me to help othersShannon Britton Grounds and Landscaping
I have a job and warm place to live. Others are not so fortunate. Even more so now that we are all so separated by COVID, I want to ensure that all people have a job and a warm place to live. Giving to United Way lets me support many programs like Home Base, Jobs Connect and Streets to Home that are helping families and individuals prevent eviction, find jobs and find housing. Everyone should have a place to call home!Teresa Beery, MFA Senior Administrative Assistant, Electrical and Computer Engineering, Physics, College of Science and Engineering
I think about how lucky I was to be raised in a loving family where we not only had food and shelter but a belief by my parents that all of their kids would go to college and enjoy a secure economic future. I realize this was an accident of birth. For all of the kids who aren't that lucky, I direct my United Way contribution to early childhood education. If all of the kids starting kindergarten can start at an even level, the sky's the limit!! Let's help them get there!Sarah Bee, MBA, CIA Senior Instructor, Accounting, Program Director, Internal Audit, Albers School of Business and Economics
To give back is part of my ethos and I feel it is vital that we work locally and globally to create better equity and to bring about the world we want to see. This is my primary motivation, but I also feel a commitment to helping demonstrate the care that is a core value of my employer, Seattle University. It is my hope that many give, if even a little, in solidarity with our institutional mission. Demonstrating that we care about our local community is part and parcel of who we are.Joyce Allen Office of the Registrar
I donate because I know even a small donation can make a big difference to the individuals and families in our local community who struggle with hunger, poverty and homelessness.Megan Otis Instructional Technologist, Center for Digital Learning & Innovation
My father and mother came from large families. Father's family had little money and were immigrants from Sweden. In spite of poverty, he went to college and earned good grades. Mother was a grade school teacher. Growing up we had enough but nothing lavish. Hard working, with work ethic. I wish to help others, particularly children and families. I see poverty every day in Seattle downtown, I see poor teens, people begging. I wish to help on a fundamental level: the basic needs.Linda Mathison Senior Administrative Assistant, College of Nursing
I see giving to the UWKC campaign as a small step toward paying forward the help and encouragement I've been lucky (dare I say graced) enough to receive in my life. I especially think of all the helping hands who smooth the way for me daily without my having the slightest idea of it! Perhaps this is one way of thanking those anonymous angels.Mark Schoen Financial & Information Systems Senior Analyst, Office of the Controller
This year so many are affected by the pandemic. United Way gave us the opportunity to donate directly to community relief that benefits those that cannot pay rent or buy food.Terry Lundmark Project Manager and Senior Designer, Marketing Communications
This is my 53rd year in the professional work force, and I would be embarrassed and ashamed had I not supported United Way in every one of those years. Indeed, it is the one thing that I know I did in every year of my work life, and will do for the rest of my life. How could we all not join together in this simple gesture of human compassion? It is the least we can do.William L. Weis, Ph.D. Professor of Management, Albers School of Business and Economics
When I make my annual contribution, I think of Lauren McGowan, a tireless champion for families and children experiencing homelessness, fighting to expand school breakfast and summer lunches for children in need, and helping college students escape poverty. Through that program, our project's recent alum, Khadija Diallo, is helping students at Highline College persist and graduate. I'm proud to support the people making it happen.Catherine Hinrichsen, APR, M.A. Project Director, Project on Family Homelessness, Institute of Public Service
When I look around and see the scale of human suffering all around us, it can feel overwhelming. It seems difficult to even know how to help. It is a great comfort to me to know that my support of United Way goes directly to the most effective ways to help our most vulnerable neighbors build better lives.Robert Dullea, Ph.D. Vice President for Planning and Vice Provost
There's a variety of reasons to give to SU's UWKCC and I know all of my colleagues will mention the variety of great programs United Way provides for those in need. I look at this a bit differently: we work for an historically great community institution that does a lot of good, and I'd be a person poor in spirit or generally ungrateful if I didn't give. This is the time of year to count blessings and give. There's more to it than that, of course, but right now that's on my mind.Anonymous One of Us, Seattle University
My family has a long history of supporting the United Way of King County. My mother and father always supported the United Way because they knew it would help those in our local community most in need. Patty and I have continued that tradition because the United Way provides a safety net across a spectrum of needs for those right here in our community who need help.Coach Peter Fewing Head Coach, Men’s Soccer, Athletics
United Way is an organization near and dear to my heart. I began volunteering with United Way's VITA tax campaign in 2012, giving me the chance to give back to the community through this remarkable organization to help countless people through tax preparation and better understanding their tax position to minimize tax liability. Now you have an opportunity to help support United Way during the Giving Campaign in its mission on helping the community that you live in.Jonathan Seeber Former Senior Payroll Analyst, Controller's Office
This is an important time of the year for me, reflecting about what I can do to help others, giving money, giving time, giving care to make a difference. One of my favorite quotes about giving comes from Winston Churchill, “We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give."Wilson Garone Vice President, Chief Financial Officer
When I moved to the Kitsap Peninsula, I expected to wake up much earlier to catch my ferry, I expected a long commute, and I expected to walk from the ferry docks to Seattle U. What I didn't expect was seeing individuals sleeping on the ground or squatting close to carts filled with their belongings on the streets that I take on my way to work. It's sometimes hard to know how to help. However, what's important is to keep caring for each other because life depends and is enriched by love.Di Di Galligar, Ph.D. Associate Provost for Business and Faculty Administration, Office of the Provost
Every morning for a week, my pre-teen and I drove through the city on our way to basketball camp on Seattle U’s campus. I loved her noticing all the big lights and exciting scenes of Seattle on the way in, but was stunned when she asked me why I never offered any spare change to the homeless beggar that stood waiting, rain-or-shine, outside the warmth and shelter of our car. I am supporting Seattle University’s United Way of King County Campaign this year and hope you’ll join me.Ariel Rosemond, MBA Center for Leadership Formation, Albers School of Business and Economics
I am a long-time donor and former staff member of UWKC. I have been especially appreciative of UWKC's responsiveness to our community's needs during the pandemic and as an advocate for equity and uprooting racism. And, I am thrilled to see our alumnus President & CEO Gordon McHenry leading the way.Sarah Finney, '08 Sr. Director of Gift Planning, University Advancement
I'm hoping our donation can provide some relief to the homeless and the hungry we see around our city ever day.Marc Cohen, Ph.D. Professor of Management, Albers School of Business and Economics
I have contributed to United Way Campaigns every year since beginning my professional work life in 1966. I believe in being part of collective efforts to support the unmet and under-met needs of our human family. Indeed, this is a priority of my life. Thank you for continuing to give me this opportunity to share in giving to United Way.William L. Weis, Ph.D. Professor of Management, Albers School of Business and Economics
We donated federal stimulus money as this is meant to go to people who can really, truly use it right now. We are fortunate to have employment and stability right now.Missy & Jamie Hancock College of Nursing
I am inspired by the work of United Way to address the basic needs of our brothers and sisters across King County. I contribute in order to be a small part of the restoration of justice to communities that have been marginalized.Jen Tilghman-Havens Center for Jesuit Education
United Way is a good way to donate to one organization that serves multiple under served populations.Terry Read Diagnostic Ultrasound, College of Nursing
Our donations help United Way of King County address the need throughout the community:
Edgar Gonzalez and Anne Moran
Seattle University's United Way of King County Campaign Co-Chairs