Employees from across the University of Virginia were thanked for their continued strong support of the Commonwealth of Virginia Campaign at an event held Tuesday in Garrett Hall’s Great Hall.
The CVC is the commonwealth of Virginia’s employee-giving charity fundraising drive held each fall in state agencies across Virginia.
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 $1,072,593 made 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.’s Office of Community Relations and chair of the University’s CVC campaign, said that a key to its sustained success is a change that occurred in the 1990s, when the effort 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 understood the need and wanted to help.
Soon, donations began to soar – $400,000 in 1999, $800,000 in 2006, and more than $1 million in 2012.
U.Va. employees’ CVC donations 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.
About 75 U.Va. CVC volunteers braved the cold and rainy weather to attend Tuesday’s recognition event. Fitzgerald; U.Va. Community Relations Director Ida Lee Wootten; Senior Vice President for Development Robert D. Sweeney; Ed Howell, vice president and CEO of the U.Va. Health System; Erika Viccellio of the Charlottesville Free Clinic; and Sara Wilson, director of the Virginia Department of Human Resource Management, which oversees the CVC statewide, each offered remarks.
Wilson presented a plaque to Sweeney and Howell.
The Virginia Gentlemen closed the event by performing three songs.