This is an archived article. For the latest news, go to the Advance Homepage.
For more archives, go to the Advance Archive/Search Page

Campaign enters final week
Charitable gifts make a difference in people's lives

Meet the challenge to give a gift to a charity of your choice.

The time is now to help bridge the gap between despair and hope, or a sob and a smile, by making a contribution to the UConn Cares campaign. Your contribution can make a difference to those for whom a fulfilling life may be impossible without help.

The campaign is part of the Connecticut State Employees' Campaign for Charitable Giving, which represents more than 700 agencies from all over the country that exist to help solve the day-to-day problems affecting families and communities. Contributions to this campaign make possible a wide range of vital services, including feeding the hungry, protecting the environment, caring for children and seniors, and finding cures of diseases.

Some of these charitable agencies have touched those in the UConn community, too.

"My father was affected by muscular dystrophy, which left him unable to stand or walk," says Richard Veilleux, assistant director of university communications. "The Muscular Dystrophy Association was of great help at that time. They loaned us a wheelchair and other specialized equipment that enabled us to get him out of bed and into the open.

"It occurs to me that something like this can happen to anyone, anytime," he adds. "It is amazing what a little donation from each of us can do for people who live in pain every day and are incapable of normal life. It will make a great difference in their daily lives."

William Barrett, director of administrative and logistical services, and his family also received support from charitable agencies at a time of need.

"Five years ago, my wife and I were expecting our second child. At 38 weeks of her pregnancy, she noticed a lack of movement and we rushed to the hospital. Our daughter had died and we never found out the cause," he says. "The support groups Compassionate Friends and Share helped us with ideas on how to remember our daughter and to share our feelings with others. Without their support, our grieving would have been more difficult than it was.

"I try to donate to agencies in the Connecticut State Employees Campaign that assist support groups for parents who have suffered the death of a child."

The campaign is the annual opportunity to contribute to non-profit charities at work. This year's campaign began on October 1 with a fun run/walk and barbecue, when members of the UConn community could meet with representatives from regional charities, and also featured a 1950s luncheon on October 16. The campaign will formally close on October 30 with Fall Fest '97, including a bake sale, but employees can continue to send in their pledges through November.

Contributions to the campaign are tax-deductible and completely voluntary. They may be made as a one-time gift or through payroll deduction, and can be as little as $1 per pay period. Contributors can designate their gift to one or more charitable agencies of their choice.

Usha R. Palaniswamy