Listen to the UVA Today Radio Show report on this story by Rebecca Arrington:
February 2, 2010 — University of Virginia employees have a long tradition of giving back to the community. Despite the economic downturn, 2009 was no different.
To date, U.Va. employees have contributed more than $932,000 – nearly reaching last year's record-setting total of $936,000 – through the 2009 Commonwealth of Virginia Campaign. U.Va. employees' donations once again easily surpassed the $675,000 goal set in August.
Held each fall, the CVC is a workplace-giving program that allows state employees to support the charities of their choice in areas such as health and human services, animal welfare and environmental causes. Employees can contribute through check, credit card or payroll deduction and can pledge online.
"I continue to be amazed," said Jim Fitzgerald, associate director of U.Va.'s Community Relations Office and chairman of U.Va.'s 2009 campaign. "Just when it appears that we can't possibly do as well as we have in the past, University employees dig even deeper to support their favorite causes."
Approximately 3,500 individual gifts were received through the CVC at U.Va. "The number of gifts received is down a bit from previous years," Fitzgerald said. "We're not surprised, though, as the hiring freeze has resulted in about 10 percent fewer employees than in recent years. When the numbers are crunched, there's little change in the participation rate."
Careen Waterman, U.Va.'s CVC administrator, noted, "Employees across Grounds and the Health System take pride in coordinating special events in support of CVC charities. Through bake sales, auctions, soup and sandwich sales – just to name a few – employees raised thousands of dollars."
U.Va. employees' donations made up nearly 26 percent of the statewide total, which is expected to close around $4 million – down slightly from last year's $4.2 million. Since 1999, U.Va. employees have contributed nearly $7.5 million to charities through the Commonwealth of Virginia Campaign.
As in recent years, the Charlottesville Free Clinic was again the No. 1 choice of U.Va. employees in the 2009 campaign.
"The Free Clinic is immensely grateful to U.Va. and its employees for their generous support of the CFC through the Commonwealth of Virginia Campaign – especially this year," said Erika Viccellio, the clinic's executive director. "Many people at U.Va. and across our community have been affected by the recession. It's heartwarming to know that so many U.Va. employees kept charitable giving at the top of their priority list."
The CVC at U.Va. is administered by the University's Community Relations Office. To learn more, visit the Web site.