Pictured, from left, are: Kristina Sage, orientation assistant; Hollie Smith, director of orientation; Brooke Rodine, assistant director of orientation; Gary Lee Ashcraft, executive director of United Way; Jessica Patterson, Texas City senior; Jamal Smith, Mesquite senior; Veronica Weaver, Longview senior; and Kevin Hickey, Springtown graduate assistant.

Representatives of Stephen F. Austin State University's orientation program secured donations of more than $1,400 from incoming students and their family members during summer orientation sessions. The donations will benefit the Nacogdoches County United Way.

The orientation team also accepted food and school supply donations to benefit local families and schools.

"The idea was to involve the orientation team in service learning activities, which is a key focus for SFA students' learning outside the classroom," said Hollie Smith, director of orientation.

The gifts are a precursor to the October kickoff of the Nacogdoches County United Way's "Live United" campaign, through which the organization hopes to raise $300,000 to benefit local agencies that help those in need in the areas of health, education and finances.

Amanda Horne, assistant director for student affairs programs and SFA representative for United Way, hopes the SFA community's contribution will meet $20,000 of the goal through student programs such as orientation, homecoming activities and SFA faculty and staff involvement.

"I was amazed and grateful for the contributions collected through orientation this summer," Gary Lee Ashcraft, executive director of Nacogdoches County United Way, said.

For information about the "Live United" campaign and how to help, contact Ashcraft at the United Way at (936) 564-5869.