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The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

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Stony Brook Cares Campaign

Since Sept. 1, members of the Stony Brook community have been contributing to the Stony Brook Cares Campaign.   The annual campaign, which has been on campus for the past 28 years, allows faculty and staff members of the university to donate funds to a charity of their choice.

According to Marsha Pollard, the assistant co-host for academic administration, many of these charities do not have sufficient resources to raise funds  themselves, so they are supported under the State Employees Federal Appeal, or SEFA.  SEFA  serves as an “umbrella agency” to these individual charities.

Pollard says that the university’s goal is set at $200,000, and so far donations have reached $140,000.

SEFA is a federation in New York state that allows state employees to donate money, whether it be cash, check or a set percentage taken out of their paychecks, to any of the over 500 charities on the list.  Many of the charity organizations under SEFA aim to help Americans with disabilities, the elderly and children, according to Pollard.

According to Millie Lucas, director of the Long Island SEFA region, although SEFA is divided into a number of regions throughout New York State, and is managed locally. However, when these individual charities fill out applications to be put under SEFA, the majority of them “go state-wide.”

There are local organizations on the list, including Americans for Peace Now and Boy Scouts of America, Suffolk Chapter.  State wide charities include the American Foundation for the Blind, America’s Charities and Breast Cancer Help, Inc.

According to Pollard, Stony Brook University has served as its biggest contributor within the Long Island SEFA region. Contributions generally make up fifty percent of the region’s total funding.

This year,  100 new charities throughout New York state have been added to the list this year, according to Lucas.

It may be inferred that the current state of the economy has had a negative effect on many of these charities.  However, according to Lucas’, none of the charities have put an end to their organization this year, compared to one or two that closed in 2009.

In addition, Pollard expresses her awareness toward the current state of the economy, but stresses  that this is a crucial time “to give back to people less fortunate.”

“Anything anyone can give is appreciated,”  Pollard said. There is no limit on the amount that an individual can donate.

Pollard said that she is unable to comment on the future of the campaign.  However, she mention the strong relationship the university has with SEFA, as well as United Way, which manages the Long Island region of SEFA.  Lucas said that campaign will continue to expand as new charities are added each year.

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