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United Way Campaign Nears End of Drive

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Having raised less than $200,000 so far, officials from the Harvard United Way and Other Charities Campaign predicted they will double that amount when the six-week campaign ends tomorrow.

As of last week, the annual campaign, which began October 1, had raised 34 percent of its $418,754 goal. But the bulk of the pledges do not traditionally come in until the last week of the drive, said campaign coordinator Roberta WoodEaley.

Last year's average pledge was $87, with a high response from Business and Kennedy School employees.

For more than 40 years, the University has used the campaign to collate employee donations. Each department has one solicitor per 20 employees. Solicitors are responsible for distributing pledge cards to every employee in the department and returning them to the campaign office.

Employees may also make donations through payroll deductions. Emeritus professors and spouses of University affiliates also contribute, WoodEaley said.

"It [the campaign policy] creates what we think is the correct impression, which is that Harvard people are very generous," said this year's voluntary campaign chairman, Financial Vice-President Thomas O'Brien.

While the campaign doesn't target any particular charities, Phillips Brooks House (PBH) hopes to receive about $1,000 to supplement its $88,000 budget, said PBH Administrative Assistant Lee H. Smith.

Yet because of the nature of the campaign, PBH has not aggressively sought donations, Smith said. "We have not pumped it up at all because the Harvard United Way has to remain neutral."

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