United Way Campaign Opens with October Events

Blue and yellow Pitt shirtsChangemakers unite!

It’s not just the new theme for the annual United Way campaign—it’s a call to action. In a time of unprecedented need and challenge, the University of Pittsburgh is once again partnering with the United Way of Southwestern Pennsylvania to make positive change in the region.

This year, virtual events, telephone calls and other at-a-distance opportunities offer faculty and staff participants a chance to engage with community members in need.

The campaign begins on Thursday, Oct. 1, with special events taking place throughout October. And this year, the campaign will continue through April 2021 and feature new ways to give and get involved. Besides civic engagement to help those in need, the campaign’s goal for fundraising is $750,000.

Kicking off with a virtual conversation

On Thursday, Oct. 1, at 10 a.m., Bobbi Watt Geer, CEO of the United Way of Southwestern Pennsylvania, will join University Chief Financial Officer and this year’s Campaign Chair Hari Sastry to discuss this year’s campaign.

They’ll talk about the United Way’s approach to helping those most vulnerable and those facing first-time crises as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as how the Pitt community can get involved in helping them.

Advance registration is required. Confirmation emails will be sent to each registrant immediately following registration; log-in directions will be sent to confirmed registrants the day prior to the event date.

Volunteer opportunities

Beginning Friday, Oct. 2, the United Way of Southwestern Pennsylvania launches a Week of Caring, featuring both in-person and virtual events. You can search for and filter events by type and location. There’s a wide range of opportunities, from creating an easy DIY scarf and purchasing a hat and gloves for a cold weather care package to landscaping and gardening at area community organizations.

Affinity group connections

Pitt will host two October events in conjunction with the United Way’s affinity groups. On Thursday, Oct. 15, at 10:30 a.m., join Jacqueline Dunbar-Jacob, dean of Pitt’s School of Nursing and this year’s Women’s Leadership Council chair, to learn more about how to get involved with this ever-growing network of more than 2,000 women in leadership roles in Southwestern Pennsylvania. Later that day, at 2 p.m., the United Way will host an event highlighting Bridges, its society for young professionals in the Southwestern Pennsylvania region.

Arts and information

On Thursday, Oct. 22, Philanthropic and Alumni Engagement staff member and local artist Rick Antolic from will lead participants through a lunchtime activity of drawing a Pitt Panther. Once completed, participants can upload their creative works of art to the Pitt United Way Facebook page for a chance to win a prize.

Finally, on Thursday, Oct. 29, join the United Way to learn more about how the organization helps with emergency basic needs during the pandemic, as well as its intentional commitment to equity across all boundaries, including race, age, gender, sexual orientation and physical or mental ability.

Spots are limited for all virtual events, so make sure to register in advance. Visit the University Calendar to learn more about these and other United Way events.