Campus News

Campaign for Charities seeks greater employee participation

Organizers for the 2007 Campaign for Charities hope to raise $425,000 from UGA employees to benefit the State Charitable Contributions Program, which includes a range of charities from the United Way to the Food Bank of Northeast Georgia. In addition, the campaign hopes to boost last year’s 24 percent employee participation rate to 27 percent.

The campaign, which is held annually and raises money for local, state and national charitable organizations through payroll deductions or other donations, officially began Oct. 18 with a kick-off breakfast in Georgia Hall of the Tate Student Center. The theme for this year’s fundraising effort is “Building Better Communities Together—By Sharing.”

School of Social Work Dean Maurice Daniels, chairman of this year’s campaign, encouraged audience members to, in the words of Mahatma Ghandi, “Be the change that you want to see in the community.”

Last year, UGA employees ­contributed more than $400,000 to the Campaign for Charities, and all state employees contributed around $2.5 million in total to 1,200 charitable organizations.

Daniels said that for this year, the university would raise its own bar.

UGA President Michael F. Adams said at the breakfast that he was more concerned with the participation level than the end dollar amount.

“If enough people participate, the dollars will come,” he said.

He said he wanted more UGA employees to acknowledge the needs that exist in the community and participate in the event.

At the breakfast, a short film highlighted the impact some of the charities have on Athens and the university community. Available online (, the film chronicles the story of UGA employees Lillie  Kelley, a building services worker on South Campus, and her daughter, Karen Kelley, a sales and shipping coordinator in the accounts payable department, whose house was damaged by fire. The mother and daughter were aided by the Red Cross, which helped them find a place to live and gave them money for groceries while their house was repaired.

The film also highlighted Athens resident Tony Sanchez, a former convict whose rehabilitation he credits to the Athens Justice Project, a local organization that assists low-income individuals with pending criminal charges in achieving a fair legal outcome and in becoming productive, law-abiding community members.

All UGA employees should have received campaign information and a contribution form from the campaign coordinator in their unit. Contributors set their own contribution level and select recipient organizations.

Donations to the campaign, which ends Dec. 18, are confidential.