The United Way of Douglas County stands with the students, staff, and faculty of KU in our fight against poverty. We work closely with KU’s Center for Community Outreach, Center for Service Learning, the Schools of Social Welfare and Public Affairs & Administration, and our student group: Student United Way. Right now, our community is facing unprecedented challenges and we are working hard to develop innovative approaches to support Douglas County’s precious social service network. We are proud to sponsor over 20 organizations and initiatives, including KU’s Campus Cupboard, and we acknowledge the huge positive impact that students, staff, and faculty have through their advocacy, volunteerism, and financial contributions. The road ahead of us will be difficult but we have proven that we can accomplish amazing things when we all work together. We seek now to bridge the divide between campus and community, to most effectively battle poverty and improve lives by uniting Douglas County. We hope you will join us in our fight.

2020 Goal
Current Total
Raised by KU Since 2010








Why Live United?





Where the Money Goes

Where the Money Goes Infographic









Melissa Rhodes, United Way Campus Campaign Coordinator

Melissa Rhodes #BetheFace

My first experience with volunteering began in college at Oklahoma State University when, as a member of Gamma Phi Beta sorority, all were required to perform hours of service. I admit, when I first started I felt pushed outside my comfort zone. I quickly learned the key is to find your passion and then comfort comes easily. I have sorted clothes in a warehouse, given out school supplies, worked in a soup kitchen, volunteered at a nursing home, walked dogs at the shelter, worked at a blood drive, and wrapped care packages for soldiers. My advice, to anyone just starting out, is to keep trying until you find what is comfortable for you, this is no different from a career, just keep trying. Another lesson I have learned, is the various stages in our lives bring us opportunities. As we are starting out, we may not have the resources to give financially, so we can give of our time and talents. Other times in our lives, we may not be able to give anything, at all. We are on the receiving end of what the charities offer; this is when we learn how someone making a donation can change the lives of others. At another time in our life, we are able to share our wealth, and we then make a difference in many lives. I encourage every Jayhawk to get out and give; you will receive so much in return.

Dennis Moss, KU Director of Audit – retired

Dennis Moss #BetheFace

As the retiree representative on the KU United Way Committee, I had a chance to go on a tour of some of the agencies and programs supported by United Way. Everyone should have that opportunity. What an uplifting and inspiring experience to meet the many dedicated people who work so effectively on a daily basis to make our community a better place to live. Through their many community partners, the United Way helps to provide support to thousands of our local citizens with an emphasis on education, health and financial stability. So if you possibly can, please donate to the United Way as the dollars are being put to good use across a wide spectrum of valuable activities that enrich lives.

Laurie Comstock, Director of Special Projects – KU Endowment

Laurie Comstock #BetheFace

I support United Way because the work done by the partner agencies is so important to our community. Many of those agencies don’t have the time or funds for large-scale solicitation. United Way fills that gap and facilitates the partners working together to help avoid duplication of efforts. We’re all just one event away from needing the services of any of these agencies. I help now because I can. Every little bit matters.