UAB’s 2010 Benevolent Fund campaign “Give Help, Give Hope” is under way, and Benevolent Fund Program Manager David Precise has two tough acts to follow. Record-setting pledges in 2008 and 2009 have raised this year’s goal to more than $1.7 million.
“The past two years we have had the best two campaigns in the Benevolent Fund’s history,” Precise says. “Considering the economic challenges we’re facing as a nation right now, it says a lot about UAB employees that we’ve had two record campaigns during that time. It says something as a community of employees that we put forth that kind of relationship with the people we live with. There are many problems that would have no solutions without the generosity of our employees.”
Record pledges of more than $1.63 million were received in 2008 followed by another record pledge amount exceeding $1.7 million in 2009.
The Benevolent Fund is UAB’s own system for supporting charitable, service and health agencies by providing a mechanism for employees to help those in need in the Birmingham area. Decisions regarding the solicitation and distribution of funds are made by a council of UAB employees who are elected by fellow employees to serve two-year renewable terms or appointed by the UAB administration to serve indefinitely.
Money pledged by UAB employees supports 127 non-profit organizations in the Birmingham metro area, including United Way, American Cancer Society, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Childcare Resources, Alabama Kidney Foundation, American Heart Association, North Central Alabama chapter of Susan G. Komen, Salvation Army and YWCA.
The Benevolent Fund also supports the employee emergency assistance program for UAB employees. Financial awards may be made to employees who qualify under the guidelines. The program may help pay grocery bills, rent or mortgage payments, electric or gas bills and doctor bills. Emergencies usually are related to loss and damage caused by fire, tornado or other natural disaster or a medical emergency that causes leave without pay. Nearly $200,000 was given to employees in crisis in 2009.
“This program is a priority of the Benevolent Fund and a very important part of what we do,” Precise says.
Faculty and staff are encouraged to consider contributing at a level appropriate for them. Some common contributions include:
- One hour’s pay per month (just 12 out of 2,080 hours for a full-time employee)
- 1 percent of annual pay per month
- A continuous fixed amount each month
- A one-time payroll deduction or gift by check
“The main goal of the campaign is to give every UAB employee the opportunity to consider giving,” Precise says. “We have many loyal volunteers who act as our departmental solicitors and attend meetings and lead campaigns in their departments. We want our campaign to make people aware of the Benevolent Fund and hope they have a few minutes to listen to a volunteer.”
For more information, visit www.uab.edu/benfund online, call 934-1581 or e-mail Precise at email@example.com.