Campus News

UK United Way Campaign Ends Today

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 29, 2021) — Today is the last day of the University of Kentucky’s annual United Way of the Bluegrass campaign, “Live United,” which began on Monday, Oct. 11, and has a goal to raise $224,000.

Payroll deduction is a way for employees to easily enroll through the myUK portal. To make a payroll deduction or pledge, simply visit myUK and click on the Employee Self Service tab to begin a United Way pledge.

Additionally, individuals can donate via cash or check, payable to United Way of the Bluegrass, or complete a credit card donation at http://uwbg.org.

However, despite this being the last day of the campaign at UK, anyone interested in donating or getting involved with United Way of the Bluegrass any time of the year, can contact Paige Noland at uk-unitedway@uky.edu.

“I am deeply grateful for our UK community,” said UK President Eli Capilouto. “Time and again, they step up in new ways to give to the United Way of the Bluegrass — both through financial donations but also through their time and creativity, reminding us all that service to others is part of who we are. The partnerships and connections between our campus and WayPoint centers are examples of what’s possible when we come together for a common purpose, with uncommon resolve.”

WayPoint centers are the newest United Way initiative and have allowed United Way to have a physical presence within the neighborhoods that need them the most. The goal is to provide services that are custom-tailored to the needs of those communities and give families the empowerment to move forward from hardships and challenges.

UK employees have been a vital link in the achievements of the United Way of the Bluegrass and most recently the success of the WayPoint centers. In addition, several UK employees are among those that and have been recognized during the past year as part of their "100 Heroes of United Way of the Bluegrass" during their celebration in 2021 for “100 years of fighting for the basic needs, education and financial stability of every person in Central Kentucky.”

Among those in the "100 Heroes" is Serenity Wright, director of Honors Pathway Programs at the Gatton College of Business and Economics. Wright is the current chair of the United Way of the Bluegrass’ Community Impact Task Force, leading the volunteer effort to launch the WayPoint centers.

People want to give to programs and demographics that they are passionate about and feel connected to, Wright said. “The purpose of WayPoint isn’t to create something new, but to bring together the resources that are already available,” she said. “We want to make sure we are supporting our local organizations in reaching the communities we need while also supporting those in the community who need those resources. By creating the WayPoint centers, we are facilitating that connection.”

To read more about her work with the United Way of the Bluegrass, visit www.uwbg.org/post/serenity-wright-current-chair-of-community-impact-task-force.

Also, recognized is Doug Michael, the Thomas P. Lewis Professor of Law. Michael is a site coordinator for the Central Kentucky Economic Empowerment Project (CKEEP) that provides free tax preparation and has been involved with the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program since the 1980s.

“After UWBG began working on the CKEEP project, they enlisted my help at one of the existing tax clinics,” Michael said. “We’ve been working together since the CKEEP project began to provide free tax services to low-income taxpayers and we’ve been one of the main sites for the CKEEP program. UWBG was able to take what we were doing and bring that model to multiple sites across the region.”

To read more about Michael’s work with the United Way of Bluegrass, visit www.uwbg.org/post/doug-michael-ckeep-site-coordinator.

Roberto Cardarelli, chief medical officer for ambulatory services at UK HealthCare, is a tireless advocate for the 211 Contact Center, a free, confidential referral and information helpline that connects people of all ages to the essential health and human services they need, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. A toll-free call to 2-1-1 connects you to a community resource specialist who can put you in touch with local organizations that provide critical services that can improve and save lives.

“We’ve built a program of care navigators and community health workers who are focused on wraparound services for our populations that are more vulnerable and are at a higher risk for readmission or social marginalization,” said Cardarelli. “We’ve always encouraged our team at UK HealthCare to leverage 211 to help patients with social needs get connected to community organizations and local resources and 211 has been a toolbox to help those patients.”

To read more about Cardarelli’s work with the United Way of Bluegrass, visit www.uwbg.org/post/dr-roberto-cardarelli-211-advocate.

Richard Milich, a UK psychology professor and one of the leading experts in attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD, died Nov. 7, 2020. He is remembered in memoriam as one of the "100 Heroes" for being a longtime supporter and friend of United Way of the Bluegrass.

Milich supported UWBG as a member of the Tocqueville Society, a giving community for philanthropic leaders. The Tocqueville Society recognizes those around our region who have devoted their time, talent and funds to tackle the most serious issues faced by our communities. He also was an avid supporter of GreenHouse17.

To read more about Milich’s service to United Way of the Bluegrass, go to www.uwbg.org/post/in-memory-of-dr-richard-milich.

For 100 years, United Way of the Bluegrass has united the full force of the community to fight for the basic needs, education and financial stability of every person in Central Kentucky. Although the pandemic has presented many challenges, United Way has fought quickly and fiercely to combat the negative impact COVID-19 could have had on our community. More than $1.2 million in funds additional to their annual campaign has been invested in local COVID-19 relief efforts and these funds have provided increased access to food and other basic needs, prescription and health care assistance, transportation, child care and emergency rent and utility assistance.

The University of Kentucky is increasingly the first choice for students, faculty and staff to pursue their passions and their professional goals. In the last two years, Forbes has named UK among the best employers for diversity, and INSIGHT into Diversity recognized us as a Diversity Champion four years running. UK is ranked among the top 30 campuses in the nation for LGBTQ* inclusion and safety. UK has been judged a “Great College to Work for" three years in a row, and UK is among only 22 universities in the country on Forbes' list of "America's Best Employers."  We are ranked among the top 10 percent of public institutions for research expenditures — a tangible symbol of our breadth and depth as a university focused on discovery that changes lives and communities. And our patients know and appreciate the fact that UK HealthCare has been named the state’s top hospital for five straight years. Accolades and honors are great. But they are more important for what they represent: the idea that creating a community of belonging and commitment to excellence is how we honor our mission to be not simply the University of Kentucky, but the University for Kentucky.