FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 21, 2012

To increase community participation in the Agenda for Change, United Way announces a campaign goal of $17.5 million to benefit Dane County residents

United Way of Dane County kicks off its 2012 Campaign on Tuesday, August 21st from 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. with its 20th annual United Way Days of Caring sponsored by Oscar Mayer/Kraft Foods for the 19th consecutive year. Hundreds of volunteers and supporters will gather at Alliant Energy Center’s Willow Island for a Campaign Kickoff Luncheon and to take part in this three day event where thousands of volunteers around Dane County give back through volunteer projects.

As part of the Campaign Kickoff, Nick Meriggioli, President of Oscar Mayer and United Way of Dane County’s 2012 Campaign Chair will launch the Campaign by announcing a goal of $17,500,000 to support the Agenda for Change.

“Our employees are proud to be part of the 3,000 volunteers that give back to the community over these three days. Days of Caring is a moving display of the real heroes in our community – volunteers, “says Meriggioli. “That is why I encourage everyone in our community to get involved in the campaign this year. While United Way has made tremendous progress in our community, there is still so much more work to be done. And it can’t be done by a few.”

Through strategic use of volunteers and by focusing on the underlying issues affecting our community, United Way is bringing Dane County residents together to ensure Dane County is better educated, safer, and healthier. United Way’s Days of Caring is a three day event where thousands of volunteers in our community give back through volunteer projects. Once again, United Way is mobilizing our community in action over the course of these three days; August 21st, 22nd and 24th.

Volunteers will make progress on all seven of the community’s Agenda for Change goals, with an emphasis on early childhood education, which is a key element is closing the achievement gap.

At the kick-off luncheon, United Way volunteers will be assembling Early Learning Kits for children as part of this year’s donation drive. Members of the community can donate: books (Brown Bear, Brown Bear What Do You See or The Very Hungry Caterpillar), children’s scissors, glue sticks, bubbles, and washable markers. These kits will be provided to families are a way to engage parents in being their child’s first teacher.

People who are interested in supporting United Way of Dane County can do so in the following ways:

By Contributing to the 2012 United Way Campaign:

Give through your workplace campaign, start a workplace campaign at your organization or business, visit www.unitedwaydanecounty.org, call (608) 246-4350, or send contributions to United Way of Dane County, PO Box 7548, Madison WI, 53707-7548. We invite every member of the Dane County community to participate!

Volunteering during the United Way Days of Caring or throughout the year:

Visit www.unitedwaydanecounty.org and click on “Volunteer Now” or call United Way 2-1-1 by dialing 2-1-1 or 246-4357.

 Our Community’s Agenda for Change

EDUCATION

  • Students succeed academically and graduate from high school, regardless of race.
  • Children are cared for and have fun as they become prepared for school.

 SAFETY

  • There is a decrease in family homelessness.
  • There is a reduction in violence toward individuals and families.

 HEALTH

  • People’s health issues are identified and treated early.
  • Seniors and people with disabilities are able to stay in their homes.

 United Way engages our community mobilizes volunteers and strengthens local nonprofits to achieve measurable results and change lives.

United Way of Dane County

United Way of Dane County is addressing the underlying causes of community issues through our community’s Agenda for Change—seven goals focused on three priority areas of Education, Safety and Health that our community identified as most critical to changing lives and strengthening Dane County. Through strategic partnerships and collaborative work, we are achieving measurable results toward making our community better educated, safer, and healthier.