The University is aiming to raise $125,000 for four charitable federations through its UT Community Charitable Campaign known as UTC3.
To help kick off the campaign, employees who make a new pledge of $250 or more — or employees who increase their pledge from last year to $250 or gave $250 last year, but increase their pledge by any amount — before Thanksgiving will be entered to win the use of a suite for a men’s or women’s UT basketball game. The suite, donated by Brooks Insurance, includes up to 20 people with food and beverages.
“We are really excited to offer this prize because the suite and food are of considerable value,” said Vicki Riddick, director of Rocket Wellness and UTC3 committee member. “We thought this would be motivating for those who were considering donating because it’s a unique prize that would allow you to celebrate with family and friends.”
The campaign started Nov. 1 and runs through Dec. 31. Within the first day, UT employees had donated $10,000. Since then, about $25,000 has been raised.
That’s a humbling start, Riddick said. In addition to raising more money, she wants to increase employee participation.
“It doesn’t matter if you want to give $500 or $5, every little bit helps the great causes that this campaign supports,” Riddick said. “We want to emphasize that employees should give any amount that they want to give.”
Sam McCrimmon, vice president for advancement, said the United Way of Greater Toledo, Northwest Ohio Community Shares, Community Health Charities of Ohio and EarthShare Ohio are reputable nonprofits that help more than 200 local, regional and national charities. UT employees can designate what charity or charities they want to receive their donation.
One of the charities is the MLK Kitchen for the Poor, which is located in Toledo. It feeds up to 200 on most days and served 35,340 meals in 2014.
“We hope that every UT employee can find at least one cause that they want to support with their donation,” McCrimmon said. “It doesn’t matter how much you give; we just want to encourage giving because UT’s participation in this campaign is vital for the well-being of the community.”
Giving is convenient because the donation can be set up as an automatic dedication. If an employee donates $250, approximately $17 would come out of each paycheck.
Karen Mathison, president and CEO, United Way of Greater Toledo, said UT’s participation helps the United Way of Greater Toledo work toward its goals of serving the community. In 2014, United Way raised $13.6 million.
“‘We all do better when we all do better’ was something the late Senator Paul Wellstone often said. And he’s right,” Mathison said. “We are all connected to each other. Give and get connected. Your investment matters, regardless of size, because it adds up and together we do so much more than we could ever do alone.”
Laura Harrison, executive director of Northwest Ohio Community Shares, one of the four federations that are a part of UTC3, said the donations are critical for her organization’s livelihood.
“The real measure of your wealth is how much you’d be worth if you lost all your money. It really is true that we can find the most meaning in giving to others,” Harrison said.
While UT employees who donate by Thanksgiving will be eligible for the suite prize, they, along with everyone who donates after Nov. 26, will receive these incentives:
• $100 or more: UT item from the campaign treasure chest and an invitation to the UTC3 breakfast in the Savage Arena Joe Grogan Room.
• $250 or more: UT pen and an invitation to the UTC3 breakfast.
• $500 or more: UT umbrella and an invitation to the UTC3 breakfast.
• $750 or more: UT umbrella and pen and an invitation to the UTC3 breakfast.
• $1,000 or more: UT umbrella and pen, an invitation to the UTC3 breakfast, and an invitation to a special post-campaign celebration with President Sharon L. Gaber.
To find out more about donating, look for weekly emails. You also can email Patty Gelb at email@example.com.