A characteristic that describes the people of Humboldt is their commitment to work together for the benefit of the entire community. One of the ways that we help each other, especially those who have had some personal challenges, is to contribute to United Way. It is my pleasure to help kick off the 2012 United California State Employees Charitable Campaign at Humboldt State University. We join together in association with both public and private institutions throughout Humboldt County who are being invited to participate in this important fund drive. In addition to this letter, you will be hearing from University Co-Chairs Teal Sexton (University Budget Office) and Mary Stuart (Youth Educational Services) who are encouraging your active participation again this year.
The United Way, on behalf of the State Board of Control, manages this campaign. Our local United Way is now a part of United Way of the Wine Country (Humboldt, Del Norte, Sonoma, Mendocino, & Lake Counties) to be more efficient in its use of funds that you contribute. United Way represents many local agencies, which provide a broad spectrum of services to our community, for our friends and neighbors, and in some instances, our own faculty, staff and students. One of the initiatives that is especially important for our community is called Schools of Hope. In collaboration with the Decade of Difference initiative managed by the Humboldt County Office of Education, a significant portion of gifts to United Way will support a one-on-one early literacy program to meet the needs of kindergarten through second grade students. Through the HSU Teacher Preparation Program link with Schools of Hope, HSU student volunteers read to children on a weekly schedule to bolster their literacy. The need is great. The latest research shows that 55 percent of third grade students in Humboldt and Del Norte Counties scored below proficient in English/Language Arts.
If you choose to contribute, you may do so through our payroll deduction program, or you may make a donation by check. Many of you give generously in our community both through money as well as through service. Please consider increasing your monthly contribution. I have established a Presidential Level of giving at $750 per year. If you are not giving yet, consider making at least a $2 per week contribution. Please join me in making a significant difference in our community. You may designate your gift to a specific non-profit charitable organization on your pledge form if you wish.
For me, it is less important how much you give but that you do give as you are able. Let's make this a record year for HSU in terms of the numbers of us who give something to our community through United Way. Thank you!
Rollin C. Richmond