February 1, 2021 - February 28, 2021

UofSC Campaign Challenge

Let's join forces with United Way to strengthen our community. Give today and help provide programs and services to local individuals and families who need it most.

Give Today

$40,265 pledged so far

Support Our Community

United Way of the Midlands serves a vital role in the community. They bring together businesses, volunteers, government services and other nonprofits to address large-scale issues as well as emergencies, like the coronavirus pandemic.

In the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak, United Way mobilized immediately, serving those in need due to closed schools, shuttered workplaces and overwhelmed hospitals. They continue to safely bridge gaps caused by COVID-19. Here are just a few ways your gift makes a difference.

Helping Those Most in Need

  1. Helping Children Read

    United Way's Midlands Reading Consortium (MRC) is a tutoring program that helps pre-K to 2nd-grade students improve their reading proficiency. Last year's volunteers tutored 691 kids in 27 different schools. This school year, we’re adapting our work by offering virtual tutors and guest readers. 

    A strong foundation of reading greatly impacts a child’s success in school and beyond. We've offered a library of literacy services including one-to-one tutoring, book donations, book nooks, parent engagement events, guest reading opportunities for individuals and companies and summer reading camps. 

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  2. Reducing Homelessness

    United Way serves the 1,500 people experiencing homelessness in our community. In fact, United Way and partners have reduced homelessness by 40% since 2013. COVID-19 created a surge in demand for these services, and we're doing everything we can to follow health guidelines and support those most in need.

    When people don't have their basic needs met, it's difficult for them to plan for the future. Our goal has always been to help them get back on their feet so they can thrive by fighting homelessness, funding emergency shelters and helping low-income families file income taxes.

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  3. Providing Healthcare

    United Way started offering dental and vision care to those in need, in 2016. The result? Five times as many people are being served, and there's been a 50 percent reduction in emergency room dental visits. Currently, our clinics are at full capacity with procedures in place to screen patients and maintain a safe environment.

    A few years ago, United Way of the Midlands was serving hundreds of people over the course of one weekend, once a year at SC Mission. With the help of our partners, we've recognized that the smart way to address access to critical dental and vision care was to band together and provide services five days a week.

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Upcoming Events - More details to come!

Virtual Reading for MRC Volunteer Opportunity

Silent Auction (February 1st - 19th)

Cheers for a Cause at Capital City Club Wednesday, February 10th

Live Chef Valentine's Day Meal Demonstration Tuesday, February 9, 2021 from noon to 2 p.m

Message From President Caslen

Dear faculty and staff, For many years, the UofSC family has been a dedicated partner with the United Way of the Midlands – a partnership I’m proud to support. Beginning today, the United Way campaign provides an opportunity for faculty, staff and administrators to come together and give back to our surrounding community, especially as we continue to navigate the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The United Way of the Midlands has served 48,000 people through supported programs and over 14,000 through programs funded since the pandemic began. During these difficult times, we are noticing an increased need for support from our local community. In fact, a large majority of those receiving assistance are first-time recipients, including some members of our university community.

If every employee simply gave $1 per pay period through payroll deduction, the result would be 100% participation and a $144,000 donation that directly impacts the Midlands community. I encourage you to learn more about the UofSC United Way campaign and talk to the ambassador in your unit to learn how you can contribute.  

Thank you for all you do to support our community and remember – YOU are the link to our YOUnited Way!

Bob Caslen

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Our United Way Goals & Awards

2019 UofSC United Awards
Trailblazer (campaigns that have a 10% increase of at least $500)
Athletics College of Nursing Division of Administration and Finance Division of Information Technology

Bronze Awards (employee per capita gift of $50-$99)
Bursar’s Office Division of Business and Finance

Platinum Award (employee per capita of $400 or more)
USC University Foundations

Division Chairman Award-Higher Education
University of South Carolina

Campaign Director of the Year Nominee:
Bridget Leslie, University of South Carolina

  1. 2021 Goal:

    Increase Awareness of United Way’s efforts and support to the community 

  2. 2021 Goal:

    Increase Participation through not only monetary means, but through volunteerism

  3. 2021 Goal:

    Deeper engagement with a 5% increase giving levels with Affinity Groups and Giving Societies such as the Women in Philanthropy (WIP), Young Leaders Society (YLS), Always United (AU), Tocqueville Society, and the Palmetto Society

Your UofSC United Way Campaign Team

Dr. Jon Pedersen, Palmetto Society Leader for faculty and deans; Bridget Leslie, Employee Campaign Director; Jason Caskey, Major Donor Leader; Mary Alexander, Women in Philanthropy (WIP); Jack Claypoole, United Way Campaign Team for Higher Education; Will Elliott, United Way Campaign Team for Higher Education; Latanza Duncan, United Way Campaign Team for Higher Education 

Cheers for a Cause at Capital City Club

Join us at the Club for a community gathering highlighting the incredible work of UofSC United Way Campaign. Make your $10 donation online or at the event and enjoy two complimentary drink tickets and light hors d'oeuvres.

Live Cooking Demonstration with Chef Robert Lybrand

Robert "Robby" Lybrand with the College of Hospitality, Retail and Sport Management has more than 22 years of experience in the restaurant and foodservice industry. During that time he has held many positions such as executive chef, restaurant owner, catering director and food and beverage director. Lybrand has also worked in several different sectors of the foodservice and hospitality industry, including private clubs, corporate restaurants, private restaurants, as well as a corporate theme park restaurant, Le Cellier Steakhouse, in Walt Disney World. NOTE: There are TWO links below -- one to RSVP and one to make your donation. Please remember to do both!

Bid in our Silent Auction

Fellow Gamecocks, we got some really fantastic items for our silent auction. Browse our items and place your silent bid. All bids will support our campaign and will help our Midlands Community.


Thanks to the following sponsors who supported our campaign through our silent auction or live meal demonstration. We appreciate YOU!

  • A'ja Wilson
  • Barre3 Lake Murray
  • College of Hospitality, Retail and Sport Management
  • Dawn Staley
  • Jim Hudson Lexus Columbia
  • UofSC Department of Athletics
  • University of South Carolina Bookstore

Recognizing Our Leadership Society Donors

Gifts $500 And Greater

  • R. Jason Caskey: $10,000.00
  • Bridget Leslie: $500.00
  • Arlene Andrews: $500.00
  • Mary Alexander: $500.00
  • Charles Bloom: $500.00
  • Kelli Kenison: $2,000.00
  • Derek B. Payne: $2,000.00
  • Robert and Marlys Lipe: $1,000.00
View More Donors

Your Gift Matters

$150 Buys Eye Exams and Glasses for 3 Uninsured Patients

$500 Buys School Supply Packages for 50 Students

$1,000 Buys Five Weeks of Meals for Seniors

Donate Today

We do what needs to get done.

Local Help for Local Problems

The United Way has always had a broader mandate to serve the community, which means they're agile enough to address emergency needs like flood relief. And they have the expertise and resources to tackle complex, widespread problems like youth homelessness. Their ability to take on our most important local problems is unmatched.

Our Impact
Community Partners

Help Change Lives in the Midlands

Giving to United Way is a great way to support multiple causes with one click, knowing that your money will stay right here in the community.