United Way makes strides on campus


graphic by Tyler Herron

On Oct. 25, Trinity held a Super Nacho Hour on the Coates Esplanade. The event was a more grandiose version of the university’s weekly Nacho Hour in Coates University Center. This was one of many events in Trinity’s campaign to support the charity United Way.

“Starting in the early fall through the end of the year, [United Way] has a county-wide campaign. They are partnering with various companies, institutions, academic institutions across the city, and actually [United Way] is essentially asking us to open a corporate campaign,” said Les Bleamaster, science facility manager of the Center for Science and Innovation and co-chair of Trinity’s United Way campaign board. “The money is given to United Way in an overall broader campaign.”

United Way is a national organization that researches which charity agencies are most in need, and then campaigns to fund those organizations. Even though it is a national organization, United Way is known for contributing to the local communities that donate to it.

“94 cents of every dollar that’s given to United Way is given to an agency here in town,” Bleamaster said. “The Trinity campaign is an explicit way we can show a connection to the community.”

Trinity’s United Way campaign’s goals are to obtain 60 percent campus-wide participation in the campaign, to receive 60 leadership gifts “” which are donations of $500 or more “” and to ultimately raise $80,000 for United Way. Trinity’s campaign is about a month long, from mid-October to mid-November, and includes multiple events such as the Super Nacho Hour and the Day of Service, where a group of about 40 Trinity staff and faculty volunteered at Salvation Army.

It also has a continuous email campaign to inform and remind the Trinity community of United Way.

HOPE Hall contributed to this campaign with an annual “˜dorm storm’ that was held on Nov. 2.

“All the members of HOPE Hall what we do is we just grab cans and we knock on every door on campus and we just say, “˜Hello, how are you? Would you like to donate to United Way?’ And any spare change that you have in your room, some people drop bills, whatever people want to donate we’ll take it and we’ll give it to United Way,” said Tahlar Rowe, senior and head resident assistant of HOPE Hall.

HOPE Hall also does tabling in Coates to take donations. Last year, HOPE Hall raised $600 in only one night of fundraising.

This year the organization is doing two nights of “˜dorm storm’ in hopes of doubling the amount they fund raise. Every dollar HOPE Hall raises is matched by Danny Anderson, president of the university.

The United Way Campaign exemplifies the volunteering community on Trinity’s campus. Student organizations and staff have shown continuous contributions to United Way. APO, Trinity University Volunteer Action Committee and HOPE Hall all dedicate their efforts to support the community that has become their home.

“I really enjoy [volunteering], I think it’s a great opportunity. I think what [United Way] does is really good. They work with a bunch of different organizations, which is really good,” said Rojan Shrestha, first-year student and HOPE Hall resident.

“I think a good Trinity University participation in the campaign shows that we are connected to the community at large,” Bleamaster said.

Trinity’s campus invites volunteerism, and any contribution to the United Way campaign or other charity groups is greatly encouraged.

“There’s never too much volunteering,” Rowe said. “I feel like everyone should be doing it, and I think President Anderson and campus leaders do a great job making sure that we know that volunteering is the best thing to do to give back to our community.”

Trinity’s United Way campaign will be taking donations through the upcoming weeks, and more information, go to unitedwaysatx.org.