Charitable Campaign To Begin October 1
The 12th annual Connecticut State Employees' Campaign for Charitable Giving is ready to begin Oct. 1.
"Between the Storrs based programs, the Health Center, and the schools of law and social work, we've raised more than $225,000 each of the last two years," says Michele LaBonte, acting director of nursing at Student Health Services and chair of this year's campaign in Storrs. "This year, with more employees at UConn, I really hope we can shatter our previous standards."
Nearly 750 employees at the Storrs campus came together to contribute more than $147,000 in 2002, both record highs for UConn. Last year, when hundreds of employees had accepted an Early Retirement Incentive Plan and raises for continuing employees were frozen, the number of donors decreased to 569. But those 569 donors contributed a hefty $130,135.
At the Health Center, despite the early retirements, nearly three times as many employees contributed to the campaign last year compared to 2002. The total raised nearly doubled, to more than $120,000, from 712 employees.
Joyce Borkowski, chair of the campaign at the Health Center, would like to raise the bar again this year, and has set a goal of 750 employees.
The annual campaign, which allows employees to contribute a lump sum of any amount, or as little as $1 per paycheck through payroll deduction, helps fund nearly 1,000 charitable causes. Contributions can be targeted to organizations that research some of life's most intractable diseases; help some of the country's most disadvantaged citizens live a better life; or work to keep the environment clean and beautiful.
"Helping others in the community has long been a tradition of employees at the Health Center, and last year was no exception," said Dr. Peter J. Deckers, executive vice president for health affairs and dean of the UConn School of Medicine, in a memo to Health Center employees. "I am enormously proud of the outstanding contribution our community made to the success of the 2003 CSEC campaign . and this fall, I am hoping that I might count on your help in sustaining the success of our 2003 campaign."
Deckers is doing his part to help: Besides his financial contribution, he has donated two sets of premier box seat tickets to Red Sox games, which will be given away in a drawing at the end of the campaign. All employees who return their donor card, even if they do not contribute, are eligible for the drawings in Farmington and Storrs. Drawings at each campus also include two restricted parking spaces for a year.
Jan Gwudz, director of the Connecticut State Employees' Campaign, says the statewide goal for 2005 is $1.7 million. Last year, with UConn employees contributing more than any other state agency, the campaign surpassed its goal of $1.5 million.
"This campaign is about people and about families, and state workers have long championed those causes," says Jean Morningstar, president of the 2,100-member University Health Professionals and union chair of the 2004 state employees' campaign. "The charities participating in this campaign represent causes that union members should get behind. And I know I can count on them to do just that."
Campaign coordinators began delivering packages last week, complete with donor cards, campaign booklets, and other information. Pledge cards and other information also may be accessed on the web, at http://employ.uchc.edu/forms/Campaign_2004.pdf. A directory of charitable organizations may be viewed on the CSEC website: www.state.ct.us/csec. The campaign will officially end by Nov. 1, Gwudz says, but contributions will be accepted beyond that date.