We haven’t quite reached our campus United Way campaign fundraising goal of $65,000, but we are close – so close. As of today (Friday, November 30), we are at 84% of our goal, with $54,315 pledged. We have heard from 236 donors in our campus community so far, with 54 people taking action for the very first time to support the United Way’s valuable work throughout our community. While those are really terrific statistics, it’s still the fact that less than 14% of our campus community has so far stepped up to provide their support for this important community effort. Remember that a gift of any amount is appreciated – please let it be your gift in the campus mail next week that puts us over the top!
As we leave November behind and enter the December holiday season, let’s remember that - as proud members of the Ithaca College community - we enjoy benefits and privileges not accorded to many other folks in our local communities. Not least of these highly prized benefits is the extended winter break holiday that we receive, enabling us to spend more time at home with family and enjoying leisure activities with friends. While we get to take it a little easier this holiday season, many others in our community may be forced to work even harder – working extra shifts and picking up second or even third part-time jobs – not just so they might be able to offer their family a nice holiday celebration, but so they can provide basic sustenance for their families, keep a roof over their heads, or in too many cases these days, pay for prescription medications that loved ones need.
One of the important special initiatives of the United Way of Tompkins County is the Urgent RX prescription program. We all know that health costs are rising at an alarmingly fast clip. The Urgent RX program provides not only information about other prescription and health insurance programs available to uninsured individuals, but also provides direct support to pay for prescriptions for uninsured individuals to help resolve immediate, urgent health issues and to prevent potentially much more serious medical conditions which could occur as a result of those individuals not being able to afford to take prescribed medications. In 2011, the Urgent RX program helped community members in need fill more than 3,300 prescriptions, saving those individuals almost $70,000 in out-of-pocket medical costs.
So, as you feel that wintry nip in the air, and hear the strains of festive music on the radio and piped in over the PA system in the shopping malls, give a thought to those in need around us this holiday season. Please, consider giving to the United Way as your way to extend your helping hand to our community. Then you too can know that very satisfying “better feeling” that comes from thinking about - and giving to - others.