Oct. 1 marked the kickoff of the Commonwealth of Virginia Campaign. As the state’s largest annual workplace giving drive, the CVC plays a vital role in raising donations for nearly 1,000 nonprofits in our community and across Virginia. For more than 20 years, the University of Virginia has led statewide participation in the campaign, raising nearly $1 million a year for nonprofits, the bulk of them here in our community.
This year’s campaign begins in the midst of extraordinary circumstances. Roughly nine months into the COVID-19 pandemic, communities throughout our country continue to struggle. According to a new report released by Columbia University, 8 million Americans have fallen into poverty since May, citing reasons directly linked to the pandemic. Our local and surrounding communities are no exception.
Caroline Emerson, vice president of community engagement at United Way of Greater Charlottesville, said she has seen the effects firsthand.
“I personally spoke with many, many people,” she said. “One woman stands out, because she called me almost every day for a couple of weeks. She’s elderly and lives out in the country where she is the caregiver for her adult son, who has an intellectual disability. She broke my heart every day, as I tried to explain that we were working as fast as we could to get her money she needed to eat.”
In moments of crisis, nonprofits and charities play a critical role in getting support and resources into the hands of the people who need it most – and right now, these organizations are feeling that need more than ever. In the face of such crisis and hardship, it can become easy to find yourself asking: Where do I even begin? How can I make a difference?
The CVC makes it easy, by providing a streamlined way for UVA employees to support the people in our community who need them most, providing food, shelter, health care, financial assistance, emotional and mental support, and countless other resources.
“CVC provides an important opportunity to be a good neighbor and partner, to support our community through an especially difficult time, and to live our espoused values. ”
- Kevin McDonald
To make the giving process as seamless as possible, the CVC allows faculty and staff to set up easy, recurring donations through payroll deductions. Even a few dollars each pay period makes a significant difference to these organizations and those they serve. Furthermore, the CVC makes it easy to ensure your donation goes directly to organizations that align with your interest and location.
“CVC provides an important opportunity to be a good neighbor and partner, to support our community through an especially difficult time, and to live our espoused values,” says Kevin McDonald, UVA’s vice president for diversity, equity, inclusion, and community partnerships. “It is not enough to aspire to be both great and good; the act of giving what we can to support those who mean so much to UVA is how we put that principle into action.”
In a season marked by widespread financial insecurity and instability, it may feel more difficult to give to nonprofits or charities, but even the smallest donations can add up and make a substantial difference. For example, a recurring monthly donation of a few dollars per paycheck can go a long way in helping meet the most basic needs of vulnerable members of our community. Whether that’s a warm shower at The Haven, a meal through the Blue Ridge Area Food Bank, health services through the Charlottesville Free Clinic, or end-of-life care through Hospice of the Piedmont, small contributions can provide help and resources to those who need it most.
The University’s 2030 Plan states, “Our relationship with Charlottesville and the surrounding counties is critically and mutually important. Our success as a university depends in no small part on the strength of those communities, and on the strength of our relationship with them.” The CVC provides an important way to live out these words, enabling Hoos to come together and respond during a time of significant need in our community.
To donate, please visit the CVC giving portal. The CVC runs through Dec. 20.
How to donate through CVC:
- If you want to give but are unsure where or how, check out full list of local charities and nonprofits in the Charlottesville-Albemarle area. When you’re ready, type the names of any into the ePledge Form.
- If you already know the name of the charity or nonprofit you would like to support, type the name into the ePledge Form. If the organization is participating, it will be listed in the drop-down.
- If you want to learn about other giving opportunities in Virginia, check out the full list of charities and nonprofits supported by the 2020 CVC.