2012 UCSB UNITED WAY CAMPAIGN
Members of UCSB's faculty and staff explain why supporting the United Way is meaningful to them. Other members of the campus community are invited to share their own testimonials for possible inclusion on this page. Send them via e-mail to Fatima Mendez.
Living in a community like this, and especially within the enclave represented by the university, we risk missing the real needs that exist in our midst. During the time I spent on the board of a local non-profit, I found my eyes opened to the fact that poverty and hunger exist right alongside the wealth that everyone associates with Santa Barbara. United Way provides us with a ready way to do something about those other parts of our community. I really can't think of a reason not to give something to UW each month.
Housing and Residential Services
I volunteered to organize a "Fun in the Sun" campers group sponsored by PWA and Housing & Residential Services for August 2004. I thought this would be a great way to give back to the community and create the opportunity for young children to visit the University and to see a small sampling of College life. They visited a Residence Hall, had a great lesson on archaeology in the Anthropology Dept., a wonderful tour of the beach and touch tank at Marine Science and the grand finale was lunch at Wendy's in the UCen. United Way sponsors this summer program for students from Girls Inc. When they got off the bus at the HSSB and we were walking to the Anthropology Lab, I quickly learned that they were going to give me the experience! They were so full of life and questions and had bright smiling faces and were ready to learn. I look forward to a visit from a new group in 2005.
Office of the Ombuds
A couple of years ago, my daughter, Sarah, and I enjoyed one long noon hour with children in United Way's Fun in the Sun program. I brought Frisbees and created a Frisbee golf course for about ten children. Others urged Sarah to go inside to draw with them. She went home that day with probably a dozen pictures that children had made as a gift for her, and we knew that we had made a difference for that day in the lives of a few children. It was easy and fun!
The last three years we have also volunteered for United Way's Day of Caring, doing work at the Santa Barbara Zoo and clearing out non-native plants at the Coal Oil Point Reserve. I appreciate the fact that high school students are required to do community service as part of their education. As a parent, I find that doing community service with my daughter gives me an opportunity to model the behavior that I value while we both develop a deeper sense of belonging to the community where we live. Besides that, it's fun and just challenging enough to be satisfying work!