United Way campaign ends this Friday

Last year, I asked you to help make a difference in the lives of children in Central Massachusetts by making a donation in support of the United Way Summer Strong initiative. Our leadership team knew you would come through and you did. Because of your unselfishness – a trait found in all caregivers – 800 underprivileged kids were able to attend camp last summer. Once again, I thank you for your kindness.

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This year’s campaign comes to a close on Friday, April 14. I am once again asking for your support of our United Way campaign and in particular the Summer Strong initiative. This year, UMass Memorial, in conjunction with an anonymous donor, will match up to $50,000 worth of your new (matching the entire amount) or increased (matching the amount of the increase) pledge to support this important initiative. The program ensures access to healthy food, physical activities, academic activities and positive mentors during the summer months. The goal is for us to send 1,000 kids to camp this year.

There is also another component to your support. These summer camps keep kids engaged with learning and are an offset to the well-documented “summer slide” UWCM_fullcolor_140pxphenomenon, which negatively impacts underprivileged kids. Summer slide effects caused by lack of access to physical and academic stimulation, healthy food and positive role models all contribute to children falling behind their peers academically and socially during the summer months and negatively impact the child’s health, well-being and success into adulthood. Your help will go a long way to ensuring these kids are not harmed by the impact of the summer slide.

There are several ways you can give. Pledges may be made electronically, via Email, or by printing/filling out a paper pledge form and faxing (508-334-8929) or sending (306 Belmont Street) it back to the Payroll Department. There is also a pilot option of making pledges by texting 774-224-GIVE (4483). Medical Center employees may also get to the pledge site via OurNet.

Automatic payroll deductions for amounts pledged will begin in May and continue for one year. Employees who make their pledges by 5 pm on Friday, April 14, will be entered into a prize drawing for a $500 American Express gift card.

Thanks for all of your great ideas and for taking great care of our patients, each other, and underprivileged kids in our communities through the United Way Summer Strong initiative.

Eric

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