When the weather cools down and fall starts to roll in, so does the dough.
In addition to it being National Breast Cancer Awareness Month and Domestic Violence Awareness Month, October kicks off one of the biggest fundraising periods at UCF. Alongside United Way, UCF faculty and staff are raising big bucks for various charities for the Live United UCF campaign.
Since the campaign’s inaugural year in 2011, UCF has raised about $577,000 for the cause, according to the campaign’s website, and the numbers keep increasing.
This year, employees of the main, Brevard, Lake and Sumter, and Volusia and Flagler campuses are hoping to raise a total of $150,000 for the “UCF & United Way: Impacting Our Community” cause.
“The main goal is to create an empowered awareness, which means helping our campus community learn about the needs that are out there in the community in a way that empowers them to make a difference, whether it’s making a donation, advocating for the campaign or for community resources, or finding ways to volunteer,” Campaign Manager Tee Rogers said.
Before this fundraising campaign, UCF participated in the Florida State Employees’ Charitable Campaign, raising about $5 million over the years, according to the Live United UCF website.
This model, Rogers said, was not as flexible for the employees. With Live United, campus employees are able to donate to any charity they want, as well as use payroll deductions to do so. Additionally, this method favors student involvement, allowing them to volunteer at fundraisers and drives and join committees to aid in the marketing and organization of events.
“Students who are interested in boosting their résumé and gaining experience have some committee options that they can serve with us,” Rogers said.
Arielle Morten, a senior marketing major who transferred as a non-traditional student, got involved with United Way in 2014 as a volunteer and member of the marketing committee. This year, she is helping out the campaign as an advocate.
Morten, a single parent, said she was motivated to give back to the community because she had received help from similar charities when she wanted to further her education.
“Due to my circumstances, I have made it my personal goal in life to give back to the community and help in any way possible, whether it’s through volunteering, spreading awareness or donating,” she said.
To date, UCF has raised more than $72,000 for the 2015 campaign in the first two weeks. While the campaign closes Oct. 31, pledges will still be accepted a week or two afterward, according to the website. This year’s goal is a repeat of last year’s, which ended just shy of the $150,000 mark with about $141,000, Rogers said.
For more information about donations or volunteering, visit LiveUnited.ucf.edu.
Noelle Campbell is a Digital Producer for the Central Florida Future. Follow her on Twitter at @noellecampz or email her at NoelleC@CentralFloridaFuture.com.