Mississippi College

Mississippi College Exceeds United Way Goal for 2008

November 14, 2008

America's economic news remains gloomy and the needs of United Way agencies nationwide are greater than ever.

Helping serve the needy during tough times, Mississippi College faculty and staff recently donated $13,867 to the United Way campaign. It represents an increase of 15 percent over last year.

"Thank you for helping the growing number of needy persons in our community through the vital work of the United Way," President Lee Royce said in an e-mail today to faculty and staff. "MC has made an important statement. Let us keep up the good work."

MC exceeded its 2008 United Way goal of $13,700. Faculty and staff gave at the 28 percent participation rate to increase last year's level. Royce also gave a special salute to the Mississippi College School of Law in Jackson for its strong 52 percent participation rate. Overall, MC has about 450 employees.

Shari Barnes, director of MC's Community Service Center that puts students on the Clinton campus in touch with volunteer opportunities throughout metro Jackson, was delighted with the university's involvement in United Way.

With Wall Street and Main Street suffering and the U.S. enduring its most painful downturn since the 1981-82 recession, Barnes was worried when MC leaders increased their goal over last year. "But, as usual, MC faculty and staff came through with flying colors," she said.

The United Way Capital Campaign benefits about 50 agencies in metro Jackson whether it is helping prevent teen pregnancies or feeding the homeless. Stewpot Community Services, Clinton 4 Cs, the American Red Cross and the Magnolia Speech School are a few of the agencies getting a boost from United Way. From Aug. 28 until Sept. 5, United Way's Mississippi staffers and volunteers fielded more than 10,000 calls from people affected by Hurricane Gustav.

"That just goes to show that when it is a worthy project, people want to give," said Barnes, who runs the United way campaign at Baptist-affiliated Mississippi College. Service to others is a key component of the mission of the institution in its 183rd academic year.

President Royce and MC trustee Andy Taggart, a Madison attorney, are among the members of the 2008 United Way Campaign Cabinet. It is a group of business and civic leaders in Hinds, Rankin and Madison counties.

"United Way is leading the effort in our community to bring partners together to make lasting change for good," said Carol Burger, president of the United Way of the Capital Area. "The Campaign Cabinet is instrumental in communicating our goals to those with access to assets who can partner with us to achieve that change."

While the campaign comes with much hard work at MC, Barnes said she looks forward to the launch of the effort in 2009.

For more information on United Way, contact the Jackson office at 601.948.4725 or go to www.myunitedway.com

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