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BYU employees make record-breaking United Way donation

BYU employees finished a record-breaking United Way campaign, pledging $185,059, which not only broke the school's record in donations, but also made it the largest employee campaign in United Way of Utah County's 30-year history.

"The generosity of our employees has been overwhelming," said Phyllis Jensen, community relations coordinator and United Way campaign coordinator for BYU. "We understand and see what a great benefit United Way of Utah County is to our community and the people it serves. This campaign opens the hearts of our employees in a combined effort to serve."

The United Way campaign is an annual tradition for BYU employees. Every year they are given the option of making a one-time cash or check donation or having a certain amount deducted from their paychecks and directed to United Way.

"BYU's record-breaking pledge is a great achievement, and we appreciate the efforts of those who helped carry out the campaign," said Bill Hulterstrom, president and chief executive officer of United Way of Utah County.

"Most BYU employees are used to making religious donations, but this campaign shows they also recognize that they can make a big difference by giving to the community as a whole. When everyone gets involved, the community is more successful."

Last fall, more than 150 BYU employees participated in United Way of Utah County's Day of Caring, which kicks off the campaign season by bringing the community together in service projects. The school then held its own campaign kickoff to encourage employees to contribute.

At that event, BYU President Cecil O. Samuelson, college deans and other university leaders joined with more than 50 designated employees who had been asked to spearhead the United Way campaign in their campus areas.

"At our kickoff luncheon, we saw so much enthusiasm from everyone involved as we talked about really making a difference in the community," Jensen said. "There was a spirit of coming together to do something for the greater good."

Representatives from the kickoff luncheon were encouraged to take campaign information to their departments and motivate their employees to donate.

"Our desire was to educate our employees about what United Way has to offer," Jensen said. "We have found that the more educated our employees are about United Way and its efforts, the more pledges we receive."

Representatives used their creativity to involve their employees in the campaign effort. According to Jensen, one department leader provided employees with toy cars if they contributed and then had races for prizes.

Additional materials, such as brochures, e-mails and faxes were sent to BYU employees during the campaign to inform them of the opportunity to donate.

BYU also contributed to United Way of Utah County's Sub for Santa program by sponsoring several families and is involved in several other volunteer activities to assist the community.

Writer: Katie Hoshino, United Way

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