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  • Kristin Luciani

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  • Kristin Luciani

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Beyond the Campaign Poster: UC San Diego’s United Way/CHAD Campaign

Staff members at the Early Childhood Education Center wear their “Live United” T-shirts to raise awareness for the UC San Diego United Way/CHAD campaign.

Every February, posters for UC San Diego’s United Way/CHAD Campaign begin to appear in campus elevators, break-rooms, hallways and offices. Invitations to fundraising events and requests to make a pledge to the campaign follow. For some, that’s where their involvement with the campaign ends. For others, like Carolina Berys-Gonzalez, a staff member at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, it is just the beginning.

Berys-Gonzalez recently volunteered with the United Way of San Diego County in a mock interview program for teenage and young adult refugees, as well as at-risk youth. As she talked with the students about their skills and experiences, she was amazed by their ambition and desire to give back. One girl, an international business major at San Diego City College, said she wanted to open a clinic abroad to help those who don’t have access to medical care. Another young man, who had been displaced as a teenager, talked about his goal of becoming a mechanic and his experiences building greenhouses and irrigation systems. They were participating in the program to learn the basic job skills that they will need to accomplish their goals—from resume writing and interviewing to professional etiquette.

United Way in the Community

UC San Diego has partnered with the United Way of San Diego County for more than 30 years. Here’s a glimpse at what that partnership means for the community:

Did you know?

  • UC San Diego raised more than $175,000 for the United Way of San Diego County during the 2012 campus campaign.
  • Since 2005, United Way has helped more than 100,000 San Diegans with free tax return preparation through the Earned Income Tax Credit Coalition, resulting in $44 million in refunds.
  • As part of its effort to address homelessness in San Diego, the United Way has helped 2,853 individuals with homeless prevention services and added 282 units of permanent supportive housing since 2005.

Learn More:

  • Meet a young woman who has benefitted from the United Way in this short video.
  • View the United Way of San Diego County’s Five-Year Community Impact Progress Report for details on how funds raised are invested in community solutions.

Learn more about the UC San Diego United Way/CHAD campaign on Blink. For more information about the United Way of San Diego, visit

“After volunteering, I thought, ‘Oh! This is what United Way does,’” said Berys-Gonzalez. “It is about helping people to better themselves, because we all have received help in one way or another. These are people who are actively trying to improve their lives, and we as a community are helping them to do so. It was really heartwarming to see.”

For more than 30 years, UC San Diego has partnered with the United Way of San Diego County to strengthen the local community, focusing on improving education, income and health—the building blocks for a better life and better community. Thousands of campus employees have participated by contributing their dollars, time and effort to the annual UC San Diego United Way/CHAD Campaign, which runs from mid-February to mid-April each year.

“A university must enrich its local community before it can impact the world,” said Chancellor Pradeep K. Khosla. “I am proud of our campus members for coming together to support this cause so that we may collectively make a difference in the lives of our neighbors.”

The theme of UC San Diego’s 2013 United Way campaign, which runs through April 12, is “Live United for a Brighter Future: Imagine the Impact of Your Support.” Funds raised will support a variety of community programs, including those that help children and youth achieve their potential through education initiatives, teach financial self-sufficiency to families and youth, and help the homeless to get off of the streets.

In addition to supporting programs in the San Diego community, donors may choose to designate their campaign gift to a number of different areas at UC San Diego, from scholarships to research, which in turn benefit the community. Among the campus areas impacted by the United Way campaign are:

  • Bannister Family House – The mission of the Bannister Family House is to provide affordable lodging and supportive services for out-of-town families of patients undergoing long-term care at the UC San Diego Health System. The non-medical atmosphere provides a retreat from long hours at the hospital, as well as an opportunity to connect with other families who share similar experiences and concerns.
  • The Preuss School UCSD – Located on the UC San Diego campus, The Preuss School UCSD is a public charter middle and high school for motivated, low-income students whose parents have not graduated from college. Private support enables The Preuss School to implement an extended school day and expanded school year, as well as bus students to the campus from neighborhoods throughout San Diego—elements that are critical to the students’ success.
  • Shiley Eye Center –Through the Save our Children’s Sight program, the Shiley Eye Center aims to give low-income children the vision they need to succeed in school and in life by identifying, treating and preventing vision disorders. It offers free vision screenings, a mobile pediatric clinic (the EyeMobile for Children), glasses, community outreach and education as well as research on the impact of early intervention on eye disease.

The Race for the Trophy

In an effort to help generate enthusiasm for the campaign, the chancellor’s office and six vice chancellor areas are again competing in a “race for the trophy.” For each week of the campaign, the area that increases its participation the most will host the travelling UC San Diego United Way/CHAD campaign trophy. At the end of the campaign, the trophy will go to the area with the highest overall increase in participation, with the area’s name inscribed on the trophy as the official 2013 winner. Last year, the chancellor’s office earned the trophy with a total overall participation increase of 16.28 percent. To track the competition in real time, visit

Get Involved

Campus employees can make an online one-time or recurring donation (via payroll deduction) to the UC San Diego United Way/CHAD campaign through the campaign webpage on Blink. A downloadable PDF pledge form is also available on the webpage to contribute by either method.

For those interested in giving back by giving their time, the United Way is currently recruiting volunteers to serve as readers, tutors and mentors for children and youth in the community. Visit their website to learn more and become a volunteer. Additional service projects are listed as available.

Act Locally, Impact Globally

The United Way/CHAD campaign is one of many ways that UC San Diego engages is public service. For three consecutive years, the campus has ranked first in the nation by the Washington Monthly’s College Guide based on the positive impact the university has had on the country. In addition, UC San Diego has been named to the President’s Community Service Honor Roll for the past four years. From student service organizations and Volunteer50 to Thurgood Marshall College’s public service minor, the campus is committed to making a difference in the local community, across the region and abroad.

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