Staffers Scurry to Fill Wish Lists of State Charities
Annual Campaign Gives UT Dallas Employees an Easy Way to Lend a Hand
Nov. 29, 2011
The annual State Employee Charitable Campaign (SECC) has entered its final push at UT Dallas, with staff and faculty members hoping to top last year’s record by the campaign’s end on Friday, Dec. 2.
The goal for UT Dallas this year is $160,000.
The SECC serves state agencies, universities, and community colleges throughout Texas. The campaign gives employees a way to support a wide variety of vital health and human services.
Dr. Doug Eckel and Dr. Catherine Eckel have served as leadership chairs of the UT Dallas campaign for the last three years.
“I use the SECC to make my contribution to charities,” says Dr. Doug Eckel, associate dean in the Naveen Jindal School of Management and co-chair of the leadership campaign. Dr. Eckel and his wife Dr. Catherine Eckel, who is director of the Center for Behavioral and Experimental Economic Science, have been serving as the leadership chairs for the past three years.
“This particular type of campaign serves my interests because it is easy to give,” he said. “You simply get the booklet and select the organizations that you want from a wide range of organizations. It is a practical process where donations are extracted from your paycheck, so you don’t forget to do it.”
The UT Dallas goal calls for signing up 75 leadership donors, those who have contributed $1,000 or more. SECC organizers hope to attract 600 contributors overall, for an overall 35 percent employee participation.
Toward that end, some UT Dallas departments have held their own fundraising activities. The Callier Center for Communication Disorders campaign held earlier this month capitalized on the SECC campaign theme, “Give because giving rocks.”
“We had a campaign kickoff and we assigned some of the supervisors to be what we called ‘rock stars,’ and they each had a rock band,” said Donise Pearson, director of clinical operations at the Callier Center. “They were responsible for making sure their rock bands received the form and the information booklet. … We had categories and prizes for whichever rock band turned their forms in first.”
“We did a little presentation about how the money that we receive will go to the Callier Care Fund,” says Pearson.
The Callier Center and the Academic Bridge program are two campus programs that benefit directly from the campaign. Donors can specify that their contributions go directly toward these offices.
Other UT Dallas department have organized their own activities. Facilities Management employees have a consistently high participation rate in the SECC campaign. The efforts have included cooking and serving breakfast and lunches to generate money.
“I watched our SECC donations grow from $2,665 in 2007 to $7,188 in 2010,” says Debbie Sauer, who has led the Facilities Management efforts the past four years.
Overall giving to the campaign has also increased during the past five years.
“We can be proud that the campaign continues to grow despite a hard economy,” says Dwight Clasby, assistant vice president of development and the SECC coordinator for UT Dallas.
Clasby credits the growth to the generosity of the UT Dallas family in reaching out to help the community through the SECC and to leadership donors, whose gifts account for more than 50 percent of the money raised.
For more information on the SECC and a list of weekly winners, visit the campaign website. To make a gift, please return pledge forms to MP 13.
or the Office of Media Relations, UT Dallas, (972) 883-2155, [email protected]
Contributors to the State Employee Charitable Campaign have the option of directing their gifts to support programs at the Callier Center of Communication Disorders.
Donors can also elect to support the Academic Bridge program, which helps high-potential, first-generation college students earn university diplomas.