From the President's Window

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It's True: Without You, There Is No Way

A new school year brings many things, including my favourite fall-semester marker: the University’s annual United Way campaign.

I have been thinking about our U of G community campaign a lot this week. What to do differently this year to motivate everyone to get involved?

It’s always a challenge. Every year, we set the bar higher -- pledging to raise more money, asking our community to give, and then asking them to give a little more.

What new and interesting things to say? What novel ideas or tag lines might inspire and engage everyone?

Perhaps there’s no catchy phrase or new tag line that can trump the basic message of the United Way: Without You, There is No Way.

That’s what I keep coming back to: the simple fact that the United Way is essential to life for so many here in the greater Guelph community.

And without you, there is indeed no way.

Year after year, the University of Guelph raises more money for the United Way than any other organization in Guelph.

Year after year, we surpass our fundraising goal. In recent years, we’ve consistently passed the half-million-dollar mark. Last year you contributed $570,000!

Those efforts allow the United Way to work with more than 40 local agencies helping people in need.

Every year, more than 60,000 people in Guelph and Wellington County use a variety of social, health and economic services provided by the United Way.

For various reasons, these people find themselves in difficult circumstances. Many of them are children -- about seven per cent of children in Guelph-Wellington live below the poverty line.

So I’ve decided to focus not on creative words but on actions to make a difference this year. And I encourage all of you to do the same.

Remember that besides strengthening our community, your actions will help you. Giving connects you to your community and your neighbours, and helps you find meaning in your own life.

That’s an impact that goes beyond any tag line.

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