Campus News

A chance to help

Campaign urges employees to give to charity during difficult times

Now, more than ever, is the time to help those in need, organizers of the 2008 Campaign for Charities said at its kickoff breakfast Oct.16.

This year’s goal is to collect $425,000 from a record 27 percent of UGA employees. The campaign runs through Dec. 19.

“We are certainly in tough times. The economic crisis is unlike anything I’ve ever seen,” said UGA President Michael F. Adams.

“Yet I have the faith and confidence that we will get through it. The university has been through wars, pestilence and attacks of all kinds and we’ve prospered. I’m confident we’ll get through this, and I’m confident we can help.”

Indeed, many of the programs supported by money collected during the campaign, such as area food banks and emergency shelters, know firsthand the challenges an economic stumble can create in the community.

Increased costs for gas and food can hamstring organizations’ efforts to help-making donations critical to their success, organizers said.

“I’ve always been impressed by the spirit of philanthropy here at UGA. We have a culture of giving back to the community-be it with our time, our talents or our money-and this year we have to dig deeper than ever,” said Rodney Bennett, vice president for student affairs and chair of the campaign.

“These agencies cannot do it alone. They need our support.”

His message echoed this year’s theme, “A better tomorrow begins today-give from the heart.”

Every employee should receive campaign information and a contribution form.

Employees set their own contribution level and select recipient organizations from a list of more than 1,200 charitable organizations.

Gifts to the campaign are confidential. Employees can choose to contribute through a one-time donation or payroll deductions, which must be at least $1 per month and will be taken out beginning in January and running through December 2009.

The campaign is part of the State Charitable Contributions Program.

Last year, UGA raised $444,784, the most of any college or university participating. And organizers hope that trend continues.

“One of the best ways to deal with difficult times is to go out and help someone else out,” Adams said.