Indiana Daily Student

United Way continues annual campaign season with events for giving back

<p>The United Way building is seen Oct. 28 on West Second Street. Sophomore Madeline Garcia, president of Student United Way at IU, which is a branch of Monroe County United Way, sees United Way&#x27;s theme, “change begins with you,&quot; as the idea that just one person can create change.</p><p></p>

The United Way building is seen Oct. 28 on West Second Street. Sophomore Madeline Garcia, president of Student United Way at IU, which is a branch of Monroe County United Way, sees United Way's theme, “change begins with you," as the idea that just one person can create change.

Madeline Garcia said she started serving people in her community of Avon, Indiana, through United Way her sophomore year in high school. Now a college sophomore, Garcia is the president of Student United Way at IU.

This year's theme for United Way is “change begins with you.” Garcia sees it as the idea that just one person can create change.

"You are the spark that lights a fire," Garcia said. "You are the person that can catalyze change."

Her personal goal for this year is to create change by getting around 10 students to commit their lives to service, she said. 

Garcia said she thinks an important part of the campaign this year is IU's Bicentennial. She said she hopes with all of the celebration going on this year, IU can give back and smooth the pathway of giving for the next 200 years.

This year is Jennifer Piurek's second year as campus co-chair of the United Way campaign. Piurek is the communications director for the Office of the Provost and Executive Vice President. Piurek said the campaign theme means to her that people can not change the community alone, but with others, they can.

"If we individually take action, then collectively it’s very powerful,” Piurek said. 

Piurek said this year she wants the campaign to be more personal and for people to be more engaged.

This year's campaign will include a variety of events and activities that faculty, students and community members can take part in, Piurek said. 

"To be able to give back and help those that are not fortunate enough to attend the university or that work for the university is something really cool," Garcia said. 

Piurek said some of the events include cabinet meetings, supply drives, making baby baskets, assembling literacy kits and Friday brunches. 

The brunches, which will take place in the Indiana Memorial Union’s State Room East, include free food and a panel. A Nov. 1 panel will focus on assessing the community's important issues, and a Dec. 6 panel will focus on disability inclusivity.

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