The College kicks off its United Way campaign

Last year, Union employees raised almost $17,000 to help 110 community programs and 58 agencies.
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The College kicks off its United Way campaign

Union College’s United Way campaign kicked off this week and organizers are hoping to build on last year’s efforts and have their eyes set firmly on a goal of at least $25,000.

“Last year, Union College employees raised $16,834,” said Kelly Lussier, assistant to the vice president for administration and finance and campaign co-chair. “And through the United Way, we were able to help seniors, children and working families through 110 community programs and 58 agencies. Our contributions made a difference in so many ways and this year, with our 2014-15 goal, we have an opportunity to have an even greater impact.”

Doug Klein, professor of economics, who is a long-time supporter, appreciates the United Way’s success in providing solutions to the critical human needs in our community. “I served on an advisory panel for the local United Way a number of years ago,” said Klein. “I was impressed by their dedication to a wide group of organizations that work to make Schenectady a better place.”

This year’s Workplace Campaign will run from Feb. 10 through to Feb. 28. Union offers a range of convenient ways to make a donation: payroll deduction, check, cash or credit card. Pledge cards are available from Kelly Lussier at  or 518-388-6104 or in the Human Resources office. Cards can also be downloaded directly from the United Way website. Contributions can also be made online.

Employees may also designate where they would like their donation to go. For Paul DeBiase, manager of the Copy Center and Mail Services, that means the Schenectady Animal Protective Foundation. “I am a huge animal lover and feel that animals are a very important part of our society and culture,” he said. “And usually they don't have anyone to advocate for them. The United Way helps to give them a voice.”

For those already giving to United Way through payroll deduction and who want to continue the contribution at your current level, no action is needed. Pledges will be resubmitted through payroll.

“I have been contributing to the UW through Union for a good many years and find the payroll deduction option very easy,” said Joe Natalie, mail services supervisor. ”Supporting an organization like the United Way, whose aim is to improve the education, health and economic situations of the area in which one finds oneself, is very important - not only as individuals but also as a College community.”

New donors and current donors who increase their annual pledge by $1 dollar per week are automatically entered into the United Way's Step Up Challenge program. Those accepting the challenge will be entered into a drawing for their choice of an Apple iPad, a $500 Visa gift card or a two-night stay at the Mirror Lake Inn and Spa in Lake Placid. Union will also hold its own challenge and all new donors and those who increase their contribution level by at least $50, will be entered into the campus drawing for prizes from the College bookstore and dining services.

“We really encourage you to consider increasing your contribution for the 2014-15 campaign,” said Eric Noll, chief human resources officer and campaign co-chair. “Union College has always stood strong for our community. With your help, we can do so again this year.”

For more information, visit the United Way website or contact United Way representative, Margot Anderson at (518) 456-2200 x 115 or