Help neighbors in need by contributing to annual charity campaign
If you contribute to the University's United Way/Crusade of Mercy and Other Charities Campaign, the chances are great that you will be helping an agency and needy people close to home.
Through area agencies supported by the campaign, shelter is provided for battered women and their children, dental care is made available to children in low-income families, and homebound senior citizens can get the help they need.
Among the beneficiaries of the campaign are two south-suburban shelters for battered women -- Crisis Center for South Suburbia in Tinley Park and South Suburban Family Shelter in Hazel Crest. Both agencies offer emergency shelter and comprehensive social services to individuals and families victimized by domestic violence. Services include counseling for women and children, hospital-based victim advocacy, court advocacy for victims, assistance to victims in obtaining financial and medical aid, community education, prevention programs and counseling programs for those who batter.
One of the many other south-suburban agencies funded by the United Way is Harvey Health Center, which provides food and money on an emergency basis to people in need and operates a dental clinic for children of low-income families and for senior citizens.
Senior citizens in the south suburbs can also receive aid from another United Way agency, Catholic Charities' South Suburban Senior Services, a multipurpose center for seniors living in Bloom, Bremen, Calumet, Rich and Thornton townships. In addition to offering numerous activities for seniors, the agency provides transportation to medical services, counseling, legal assistance and home-delivered meals and housekeeping services for homebound seniors.
Funds from the United Way also support a multitude of programs for teens and children through Aunt Martha's Youth Service Center Inc. The center's programs include Treatment Foster Care, which provides homes for children with extraordinary medical and/or behavioral problems, and Special Needs Adoptions, which helps find permanent adoptive homes for those children. Among the agency's numerous other programs for youths is Program PLUS (Parents Learning Universal Skills), which teaches teenage parents the skills they need to care for their children. The program also provides a lending library of toys and books as well as developmental screenings for participants' children, family videotapes, emergency supplies and career counseling.
These are just a few of the agencies in the Chicago area that are supported by the campaign. Other agencies include Infant Welfare Society of Chicago, LaGrange Community Nurse and Service Association, Lawndale Christian Health Center's Healthy Start Program, the National Kidney Foundation of Illinois, DuPage Senior Citizen Council's Home Maintenance Program, Chicago Volunteer Legal Services Foundation's Disability and Elder Law Program and Grateful House, an Oak Park halfway house for chemically dependent women.
United Way contributions are directed to the Chicago United Way/Crusade of Mercy, an independent organization governed by local volunteers. More than 90 percent of the organization's funds go directly to agencies that assist the poor, the homeless and the ill and provide such services as day-care programs and alcohol- and drug-abuse counseling.
Through the University's United Way/Crusade of Mercy and Other Charities Campaign, faculty and staff members may support any U.S. charities they choose, including the more than 400 United Way agencies. This year, the University hopes to raise $255,000 for charitable organizations.
To contribute to the campaign, simply fill out and return either the yellow or the blue card included in the campaign information sent to all employees. Gifts may be made to the United Way/Crusade of Mercy or to a specific charity. Options include payroll deduction and making a cash contribution.
Contributors to the campaign will automatically be eligible to win a raffle prize. Prizes include free airfare for two, theater tickets, gift certificates, autographed sports memorabilia and much more. Employees who have not received a pledge card should call Human Resources at 702-9600.