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Release: Immediate

UI launches campaign to support United Way of Johnson County

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- University of Iowa employees can help those in need by participating in the university division of the 1997-98 campaign for the United Way of Johnson County.

UI participation in the campaign, "Helping Here at Home," begins Wednesday, Oct. 1 and runs through the month.

"We hope more faculty and staff will participate in this campaign because last year the UI ranked 11th among the Big 10 in giving to the United Way," says Bruce Gronbeck, professor of communications studies and co-chair of the university division of the campaign. "Only 4 percent of faculty and staff gave to the United Way last year. Our goal is to increase participation to 10 percent and increase the amount of money raised by 10 percent," he says.

"We earn our livelihoods from the citizens of this state, yet we've got a weak record of supporting the broad range of Iowans in trouble," Gronbeck adds.

It's easy to forget that need exists everywhere, including Johnson County. "You can get caught up in your own life and not realize that every day, people are in crisis and need counseling, food, housing or medical care," says Kenneth Moore, director of the UI Central Microscopy Research Facility, current president of the Staff Council and campaign co-chair.

"By supporting the United Way you can be sure that you're helping the members of your own community," Moore says. "The administrative costs of United Way are also very low -- 87.1 cents out of every dollar is distributed to community agencies," he adds.

In early October, all UI employees will receive brochures and pledge cards from the United Way. A number of options are available for giving: a cash gift, payroll deduction, direct billing from the United Way of Johnson County, automatic deduction from a checking account, or a credit card payment. Donors can also designate their gifts to a specific community agency.

Every employee who returns a pledge card to the United Way will also be eligible for prize drawings, Moore explains. Give-aways include a punch card for the Fitness Loft in the UI Fieldhouse, tickets to a Hancher performance, UI Alumni Association T-shirts and other items.

For more information about the campaign, call the United Way of Johnson County at 338-7823.