Reporters are invited to a “thank you” event for the University of Virginia’s Commonwealth of Virginia Campaign volunteers on Feb. 26 from 1:30 to 3 p.m. in Garrett Hall’s Great Hall.
There’s cause to celebrate. For more than 10 years, U.Va. has been the No. 1 contributor to the CVC in the state, and since 2000, U.Va. employees have donated more than $9 million through the CVC.
In 2012, U.Va. employees’ contributions hit a new milestone: It’s the first time they’ve ever surpassed $1 million. U.Va.’s total of $1,072,000 makes up about 27 percent of the $4.1 million statewide CVC total.
Why do U.Va. employees give so generously? Jim Fitzgerald, associate director of U.Va. Community Relations, said that a key to the sustained success of the U.Va. CVC is a change in the 1990s, when the campaign moved to a new employee-driven model.
Volunteers from offices across Grounds became the organizers of the CVC. This employee-up approach created a sense of camaraderie, Fitzgerald said. Employees started participating because they wanted to, because they were asked to, because they understood the need and wanted to help, not because they felt they had to, he explained.
With this new approach, donations began to soar – $400,000 in 1999, $800,000 in 2006, and more than $1 million in 2012.
Locally, U.Va. employees’ donations through the CVC have been helping the community for nearly 20 years in support of causes like the March of Dimes, Hospice of the Piedmont, local animal shelters and food banks, and the Charlottesville Free Clinic – the latter again the top recipient of funds collected through the U.Va. CVC.
Some 100 U.Va. CVC volunteers will be at the Feb. 26 event. Giving remarks will be Fitzgerald, U.Va. Community Relations Director Ida Lee Wootten, Executive Vice President for Development Robert D. Sweeney, Erika Viccellio of the Charlottesville Free Clinic and Sara Wilson, director of the Virginia Department of Human Resource Management, which oversees the CVC statewide.
Wilson will present a plaque to U.Va., followed by a performance of three songs by the Virginia Gentlemen.