Each year, volunteers at K-State gear up to raise money to help the people in Riley County who need it most.
And each year, K-State staff and faculty make a tremendous difference, said campaign co-chair Bill Wisdom.
"K-State's contribution to the United Way is the largest single contribution in the county," said Wisdom, also assistant director of the K-State Student Union. "A small contribution can go a long way in helping the less fortunate in our community. A significant number of Riley County residents use at least one service funded by the United Way each year and those agencies are always challenged to keep up with demand."
Wisdom said if every K-State employee simply contributed $2 a pay period -- $52 for the year -- that would generate around $250,000, which could touch the lives of thousands of area residents.
K-State President Kirk Schulz set this year's fundraising goal at $150,000. Last year, the K-State campaign resulted in a donation of close to $100,000.
Agencies funded by the United Way include: The American Red Cross, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Boys and Girls Club of Manhattan, Catholic Charities USA, Crisis Center Inc., Girl Scouts, Housing and Credit Counseling Inc., Kansas Legal Services, Manhattan Daycare and Learning Center, Manhattan Emergency Shelter, RSVP, Salvation Army and Sunflower CASA.
"These agencies touch every age, from infant to retiree, and continue to make Riley County a great place to live, work, do business and retire," said Loleta Sump, campaign co-chair and manager of special events in K-State's Division of Facilities. "These agencies can't do it alone. They need our support to help make our community an even better place to live."
If employees return their contribution letters to 103 Edwards Hall by Nov. 13, they will be eligible for the Early Bird Specials drawing.
Early bird prizes include:
* A signed K-State team basketball or football;
* Lunch with new Athletic Director John Currie;
* Four box seats with President Schulz at a 2010 non-conference football game;
* Lunch and a museum tour with Lorne Render, director of the Marianna Kistler Beach Museum of Art; and
* Dinner with K-State's president and first lady at the presidential residence, 100 Wilson Court.
The 2009 United Way campaign at K-State kicked off Oct. 27 at an event held in the Ballroom of the K-State Student Union. Participants have until Nov. 30 to turn in their pledge cards.
For more information about the K-State United Way campaign go to: http://www.k-state.edu/unitedway