The University of Michigan’s 2020 United Way employee giving campaign has surpassed its stated goal and raised more than $1.2 million thanks to the generosity of faculty, staff and retirees.

The funds donated will benefit programs and services through the United Way of Washtenaw County Community Impact Fund — directed toward meeting the most pressing needs in the community — or organizations designated by the donor.

Campaign co-chairs Tony Denton, senior vice president and chief operating officer for the U-M Health System, and Cynthia Wilbanks, vice president emeritus for government relations, expressed appreciation for the support from the university community.

“Thanks to everyone who supported our United Way campaign this year,” Denton said. “Raising 20 percent above our stated goal in a challenging year is truly inspiring and a proud moment for the university.”

In the campaign kick-off message, the co-chairs set a goal of $1 million and reminded the university community how critically important the campaign is to the underserved in the community, and this year in particular due to the COVID-19 pandemic and effects on the health of the population.

“The university has again supported this community with their caring and generosity,” Wilbanks said. “This year the results are more important than ever and will support this area’s ongoing needs as well as those created by the recent pandemic.”

Pam Smith, president and CEO of United Way of Washtenaw, also thanked the U-M community.

“Thank you and congratulations to the University of Michigan for exceeding their goal,” Smith said. “When we live united, powerful community action can happen and lives can change. Special thanks to Cynthia Wilbanks and Tony Denton, our co-chairs, and on behalf of all the families you help, my team, and the United Way board of directors – Go Blue!”

U-M United Way campaign organizers offered special thanks to the more than 100 unit volunteers who participated in and gave their enthusiastic support to the campaign, which ended Dec. 31.

While the formal campaign has ended, the U-M United Way campaign office is still accepting pledges. To donate, call 734-763-3109. For more information, visit the U-M United Way website at uway.umich.edu.

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