United Way close to $17,000 goal at UM

Many students like to show their support for UM on gameday by buying a t-shirt at the Butler Center for Volunteer Service and Leadership Development.

More importantly, they are showing their support for United Way. These purchases have raised over $15,000 for this organization.

“Our campaign goal for this year is $17,000, so to raise $15,000 in the first month of school is an amazing result,” junior Deborah Perez, UM’s United Way student campaign coordinator, said.

The money goes to various South Florida charity organizations, such as the Salvation Army and the Hearing and Speech Center of Florida.

For each dollar that UM students contribute to United Way, this organization matches it with $2.41. Therefore, the $15,000 UM students have raised is really worth $36,000.

“It’s great that we’re given an opportunity to support United Way while still showing school spirit, but most students buy the t-shirts because they are pretty cheap and it’s the gameday t-shirt,” Christina Echagarruga, a sophomore who bought a shirt, said.

Perez feels very passionately about the tangible difference that donating to United Way makes in peoples’ lives, including her own.

According to Perez, most of her childhood had been difficult with family complications that eventually led to her and her siblings being raised solely by her grandfather.

She recalls that it wasn’t until she was helped by the Big Brothers Big Sisters of America, one of the community organizations that United Way is very supportive of with its donations, that her life began to turn around in a positive way.

UM students can get involved with United Way at the first meeting on Tuesday night at 9 p.m. in UC 245.

Donation can be made by visiting www.firstgiving.com/deborahperezlivesunited.