Campus News

United Way/MaineShare Campaign Drawing to a Close

Story posted October 23, 2000

The United Way and MaineShare lend their support to hundreds of local non-profit agencies, and each year Bowdoin workplace campaign gives College employees the opportunity to help with this effort. This year’s campaign is coming to a close, but it’s still not too late to contribute.

"The reason that the effort is important is because we at this College are all part of the Bowdoin community
but we’re all part of a larger community," said Bowdoin campaign Co-chair Mary Lou Kennedy, director of dining service, who has been urging Bowdoin employees to donate United Way and MaineShare.

The College has been participating in the United Way workplace campaigns since at least 1985. MaineShare was added to our program in the mid-90s. Each year, usually in October, Bowdoin faculty and staff are asked to consider contributing to these groups, through a one-time gift or regular payroll deduction.

Randy Shaw, director of capital giving , has been coordinating the campaign since 1994, and last year saw Bowdoin set a record in amount of contributions. Last year a total of $65,200 was raised. Forty-four percent of Bowdoin’s employees participated, which was a 10-year high in participation.

This year, Shaw is hoping to top these records. Money-wise, Bowdoin has done so, with $65,600 counted so far this year; but at 42 percent, the participation is actually lower than last year. Plans are to announce Bowdoin’s final participation and pledge totals at the end of the month, which leaves just over a week to get pledges in. Contribution forms are available by calling ext. 3881 and should be returned to the campaign headquarters at 85 Federal Street.

Bowdoin employees are an important group for both the United Way of Midcoast Maine and MaineShare. The United Way, which supports many local community service organizations, operates about 200 workplace campaigns in the Midcoast region, of which Bowdoin is the third largest, Shaw said. MaineShare, which helps support Maine-based advocacy and community service groups, operates about 100 workplace campaigns throughout the state, of which Bowdoin is also the third largest.

During the campaign, nine different meetings informed 248 staff members about the efforts of United Way and MaineShare. Kennedy said she learned about the the relationship various agencies had to Bowdoin. Many Bowdoin employees have either used the services of or volunteered for these agencies.

"People learned a lot from each other about what agencies had meaning to people, that we’re part of the same community," she said.

Each year three co-chairs are chosen for the campaign effort, one from among the faculty, a second from among the administrative staff, and a third from among the support staff. Along with Kennedy, this year’s co-chairs are Adam Levy and Sue Theberge. The chairs, in turn, recruit 55 department representatives. The efforts of these 58 people and the contributions of hundreds of others have allowed Bowdoin to be so successful in the campaign so far.

Bowdoin has a history of working for the Common Good, and Kennedy sees the United Way and MaineShare campaign as one more way of doing just that.

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