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The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman


SB Pushes for 250 Grand in Charitable Donations

The annual Stony Brook Cares fundraising campaign, jointly sponsored by State Employees Federated Appeal (SEFA) and United Way, runs through October 31, 2006. Chaired this year by Dr. Martin Lawrence, Dean of the Graduate School, the campaign encourages employees of the University to donate money to their ‘neighbors, fellow citizens and humanity in need.’

According to Lawrence, Stony Brook University has been participating in this annual fundraiser for ‘many, many years’ with an impressive record. For the past ten years, Stony Brook Cares was solely responsible for raising half of Long Island’s annual SEFA campaign. Last year the campaign raised close to $240,000 in contributions with about ten percent employee participation.

Lawrence exclaimed in this year’s letter to University employees, ‘I [am asking] you for your money!’ with the hope of encouraging even more people to donate. Ever eager for challenge, Dr Lawrence is pushing for at least $250,000 in expected donations for 2006.

Charitable individuals can choose from an entire booklet of available charities to direct their donations to. All of the major local, national and international charities and organizations are included. The Salvation Army, Greenpeace Fund and Doctors Without Borders and many more are available as options. Everything from humanitarian aid and education to Earth conservation and protection of civil liberties is represented in the list of participating agencies.

The secret to the success of the campaign is encouraging employees to give by payroll deduction. ‘It’s a lot easier to give one, two or ten dollars a paycheck than it is to gasp every time you write a check to give a lump sum donation,’ concludes Lawrence. Payroll deduction encourages greater donation and conveniently spreads it over the entire year.

‘I believe everyone is charitable,’ says Lawrence, ‘giving really just depends on one’s ability to donate and the ease of the donation.’

This method of facilitating charitable giving from employees also allows the various charities and organizations supported by the campaign to plan their efforts in advance. Charities are thus able to allocate donations to worthy causes with the confidence that enough funds will back their work. ‘Giving aid to certain causes, especially in times of great need like the Katrina disaster, is much more efficient if the charities already have money in the bank,’ notes Lawrence.

With over 14,000 people employed by Stony Brook University, it is difficult to keep promoting continued support. For this reason, almost every academic and staff department has its own captain to keep encouraging participants and newcomers to give as best they can. Between 100 and 150 highly dedicated captains assist yearly in supporting the ever growing Stony Brook Cares Campaign by hosting speaking events and other activities.

‘Securing just one dollar per paycheck from an employee is a significant donation,’ says Lawrence. Although it doesn’t seem like much, a dollar every two weeks can provide 24 meals for one elderly person, sponsor five volunteers to clean a portion of a polluted river bed, or fully immunize two children against infectious diseases.

For those individuals who are able to make larger donations, different levels of recognition can be achieved. The Leadership Club acknowledges employees who give an annual gift of at least $250. Similarly, the Cornerstone Club distinguishes individuals who make a minimum $500 contribution. Finally, the Pillars Club recognizes charitable givers who make an annual donation of $1000 or more.

Employees of the University are not the only people invited to make contributions to the Stony Brook Cares fundraising campaign. Students and other non-employees are encouraged to make donations by contacting any of the Stony Brook Cares captains or according to the campaign website: Students are also welcome to get more deeply involved in the campaign by becoming captains or hosting events to promote greater student contribution. Charitable giving begins with the right first step and the 2006 Stony Brook Cares campaign provides an excellent vehicle.

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