Mesa United Way is hoping people can reach into their wallets and give $5 to help a neighbor. And then tell a friend about it.
This week, the Mesa United Way launched the Give5Mesa virtual campaign, its first venture into a completely online fundraising effort. A nearly two-minute video can be viewed at www.give5mesa.org and then passed onto others through MySpace, Facebook and other social networks.
The campaign was launched as a response to the number of people who have lost their jobs in Mesa, many of whom donated to the United Way through their paychecks.
"The fact is that the needs have been going up at the same time employment in our major employers has gone down," said Mesa United Way president Carol McCormack. "We needed to get out to the public at large. Many people are employed in small businesses or are self-employed and don't have access to the typical workplace campaign."
The campaign asks people to donate $5 to Mesa United Way and then pass the message onto five friends.
"At the same time the campaign is going down, we've had issues in our community increasing," McCormack said, noting the number of job losses, home losses and salary cuts that have been in the news.
The Mesa United Way funds social agencies that provide food, shelter and after-school programs in Mesa.
"If every person spreads the word and gives a little bit, imagine how much we can all raise together," McCormack said.
The campaign will end June 30.