by Dr. Elisabetta Zengaro
Communication Specialist, Division of Community Affairs

With the holiday season approaching, the UA United Way Campaign leadership announced giving to the 2022 campaign has reached 95% of the $405,000 goal.

Dr. Colleen Geary and Dr. James Hardin, campaign co-chairs, shared during the UA United Way Campaign celebration on the Autherine Lucy Hall lawn on Thursday, Dec. 1, that while the journey to goal is ongoing, the finish line is in sight.

This year’s theme, United in Lifting Lives, mirrors the mission of the 2022 host college, the College of Education (COE), by capturing the importance of working together to support individuals and families in need throughout the community and the West Alabama area.

“We know that when we make one life better everyone around that person gets lifted as well, and in a way, we all get a rise,” said Dr. Peter Hlebowitsh, dean of the COE.

UA President Dr. Stuart R. Bell thanked the COE for its role in this year’s campaign, as well as the Division of Community Affairs and campaign coordinators for their leadership, and faculty and staff for their generosity. He also recognized 12 units that reached or exceeded their unit goal, as well as the impact of the UA United Way Campaign in inspiring UA students to become involved in their communities.

“Lifting others through the United Way this year, I think, is the way that we’re all exhibiting that for our students,” Bell said. “Students learn how to be philanthropic when they’re on our campus. When that thermometer goes to the top, they see that. That’s this university that’s giving back in so many ways.”

Jackie Wuska, CEO of the United Way of West Alabama (UWWA), and Jheovanny Gomez, 2022 UWWA campaign chair, also noted the impact of UA’s support for United Way by lifting lives in West Alabama.

“This community changed my life, and with your contribution and what you do, you’re making a huge impact on the West Alabama community,” Gomez said.

“Because of the generosity of the employees at The University of Alabama, we are traditionally the largest contributor to the United Way of West Alabama’s campaign,” said Dr. Samory Pruitt, vice president for Community Affairs. “We are almost there but will need more employees in the UA family to contribute, so that we can meet our goal and fulfill our commitment to our community.”

The campaign will continue through the end of the calendar year. Donations can be made through the secure online giving portal through that time. Those who prefer to give via pledge card may do so through Wednesday, Dec. 21.

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.