Giving at Ninety Percent of Goal as United Way Campaign Continues


Missed the celebration?

Watch the 2020 UA United Way Campaign celebration on the CCIS facebook page!

By Diane Kennedy-Jackson
Publications Coordinator, Division of Community Affairs

As the campus community prepared for the rapidly approaching Thanksgiving holiday, UA United Way Campaign leadership shared an update on the 2020 campaign giving total to date. On Thursday, Nov. 19, Big Al joined Dr. Adam Brooks, campaign co-chair, in the WVUA studios to announce that this annual campaign, which supports those in need throughout our area through donations to the United Way of West Alabama (UWWA), had reached a giving total of $360,045.41, or 90% of this year’s $400,000 goal. The announcement was made from the WVUA studios via the College of Communication and Information Sciences’ Facebook page.

Joining the celebration virtually were Dr. Mark Nelson, dean of this year’s host college, the College of Communication and Information Sciences, as well as Campaign Champion Dr. Nicole Prewitt, UA President Stuart R. Bell, Campaign Treasurer Caroline Railsback, 2020 UWWA Campaign Chair Shelley Jones and Jackie Wuska, chief executive officer of UWWA.

Their unified message was to send a heartfelt thank you to every member of the University community who has given or will give to this ongoing effort, and to everyone involved in running the campaign.

Nelson thanked Adam Brooks and Lynn Brooks for serving as campaign co-chairs, as well as Dr. Samory Pruitt and his staff in the Division of Community Affairs for their behind-the-scenes role in this annual campaign. He also thanked Dr. Bell for the opportunity to host the 2020 campaign. “And to each of you, our faculty and staff, who shared your kindness with our community, thank you,” said Nelson

Bell thanked Dean Nelson and CCIS for leading the campaign this year, noting that the last time this college hosted the campaign was in 2011 following the spring tornadoes that year. “I promise that we will do our best to make the next time you host a year like any other, rather than a year like no other,” said Bel, who went on to thank the United Way of West Alabama, both for the work they are doing and for allowing the University the opportunity to be a partner in service to the community. “And to all who have donated or are still planning to, I thank you,” said Bell. “This year more than ever, our community is counting on us.”

Wuska spoke to the importance of the University’s role in this annual campaign, saying “Thank you so much to those of you who have paid your blessings forward by making a gift to the United Way of West Alabama. The need for our partner agencies’ services has never been greater, and we could not come close to making an impact in the community without the support of The University of Alabama. During this challenging time, we are grateful that you have faith in us to allow us to make a difference.”

Railsback thanked all donors for their generosity, as well as the UA facilities department for quickly setting up the drop box behind Rose Administration to accommodate those who wished to drop off pledge cards. She gave a special nod to Prathima Gilliam and her team in OIT who built the online giving platform, which was new this year. “We quite literally could not have had this year’s campaign without her,” said Railsback.

Prewitt noted that when she was asked to serve in this role this year, she welcomed the opportunity, in part because she knew she would have a great campus coordinating team, but also because she knew the generosity and kindness of the UA family.

“Since the COVID-19 outbreak in March, more people have sought assistance from the United Way of West Alabama than ever before — many of them for the first time,” said Prewitt. “I want to thank every member of the UA family who has already made or will make a contribution to the 2020 campaign. Your generosity and kindness are certain to have a lasting impact on our community.”

In a year that has brought unique challenges for us all, the global pandemic has shone a spotlight on the importance of sharing what we have with those in need, and in letting kindness be our story.

The campaign will continue through the end of the semester, and donations can be made through a secure, online giving portal at Those who prefer to give via pledge card should contact Elizabeth Hartley at Donations of at least $60 will qualify for a Donor Rewards Card containing offers from 34 West Alabama businesses.

The Division of Community Affairs leads the annual UA United Way Campaign with a structure that provides opportunities for UA colleges and administrative units to host the campaign each year. The United Way of West Alabama has 26 partner agencies and plays a vital role in improving the quality of people’s lives. Partner agencies from Bibb, Fayette, Greene, Hale, Lamar, Marengo, Pickens, Sumter and Tuscaloosa counties provide a variety of education, income-related, health and emergency-response programs to citizens throughout West Alabama.