Dr. Bernie Machen
President, University of Florida
It can be hard to reach out to people in need, particularly when we don't know them. Even with our own friends or family, we may wonder, "Does this person really want me to get involved?" or think an offer of help is better left to someone else – someone who knows the person better, or is in a position of authority.
This response, while understandable, is very often the wrong one. We naturally want to help those in need and very often, we can. UF's newly launched U Matter, We Care initiative seeks to encourage our natural kindness and helpfulness by providing the tools for everyone at the university to assist students in distress or contact those at the university who are trained to help.
U Matter, We Care is an umbrella for care-related programs and resources for students and employees. The initiative includes a program to train people to recognize the signs of distress and to provide help. It also includes a website of care-related resources, as well as a centralized phone number (294-CARE) and email address for those seeking help or wanting to help others.
Whether in reaching out to earthquake victims in Haiti or those affected by hurricanes in Florida, we have shown over and over again that we care about those outside our campus. U Matter, We Care will help us extend that care to those inside our own community. It is an important initiative for our university, and I hope you will join me in making it a success.