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United Way prepares for kick-off at MIT

The annual United Way campaign kicks off November 1 at MIT, where organizers hope to raise $322,000 by December 29. MIT will once again run an expanded donor choice program with various options for contributing.

The goal is the same as for last year's campaign, in which 1,515 people donated $300,548, or 93.3 percent of the goal amount. This year's target for United Way of Massachusetts Bay (UWMB) is $41.7 million. MIT is one of the leading donors to the UWMB in the Boston area.

The official kickoff will take place in Lobby 7 from 11:30am to 1:30pm. At that event, which will feature food and beverages, organizers will also announce various raffle prizes that will be awarded at the conclusion of the campaign (all MIT community members who make a pledge or donation to this year's United Way campaign will automatically be entered in the drawing). Related events will include a clothing drive and bake sale in December; further details will be announced.

Chairing this year's campaign, whose motto is "Unlock the Potential," is Carla Kirmani, administrative officer in the Department of Mathematics. C. Forbes Dewey, professor of mechanical engineering, is co-chair. The MIT employee campaign manager is Elizabeth Mulcahy, administrator in the Office of Special Services.

UWMB distributes funds to approximately 200 social service agencies that assist 1.7 million people in 81 cities and towns in and around Boston. As in past campaigns, contributions can be targeted for a specific United Way agency, to a health and human services agency not affiliated with UWMB but within its geographical coverage area, or to one of several agency categories. Under this option, contributors can help agencies that specialize in serving young or older children, the elderly, the hungry and homeless, those with AIDS/HIV, abused women and children, the disabled or those with substance abuse problems. Employees will be receiving pledge cards and other information from chief solicitors in each department, laboratory and center on campus and at Lincoln Laboratory. Donations may be made by cash, check, credit card, payroll deduction or billing.

For Leadership Givers (those who contribute at least $1,000), a new matching program has been established by UWMB. Margarete E. and John A. MacNeice, Jr. created the $1.5 million Challenge Match Grant whereby the contributions of first-time Leadership Givers will be matched dollar for dollar. The difference between each Leadership Giver's 1994 and 1995 donation amounts will also be matched, if that increase is at least $500. In last year's MIT campaign, there were 64 Leadership Givers who donated a total of $97,336.

Individual United Way pledge form packets will be distributed to MIT community members by an appointed chief solicitor in each department around November 1. Chief solicitors can attend training sessions in Rm 20A-019 on one of several dates in October and November. Sessions will be held from 10-11:30am and 1-2:30pm. Heads of departments, centers and laboratories who have not yet returned forms to Rm 20A-023 specifying their chief solicitor should do so as soon as possible. Call Ms. Mulcahy at x3-7914 for further information or e-mail .

During the campaign, Tech Talk will run profiles of MIT employees who volunteer for United Way agencies. Anyone who volunteers or knows of someone who does is invited to contact assistant editor Alice Waugh, x8-5401, .

UWMB now has a site on the World Wide Web at containing frequently asked questions about United Way, profiles of individuals who have been helped by United Way agencies, and more.

A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on October 25, 1995.

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