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Faculty and staff give 'close to home'

by John Sponauer - December 1, 2008


“Close to Home,” the employee giving campaign that supports programs at UConn, raised more than $1.2 million for the University in the past fiscal year, up from about $750,000 in 2007.

Approximately 1,700 faculty and staff, at every campus, contributed, says Amy Stonoha, program director of constituent groups at the UConn Foundation, and she hopes for even greater numbers this year.

Close to Home is unrelated to the Connecticut State Employees’ Charitable Campaign.

“We choose to work at a University because we support the groundbreaking education, research, and service it provides our society,” Stonoha says.

“Private giving takes those missions and brings them down to the personal level, where you can truly make a difference in the research work of a faculty member or the future success of a student.”

One example of how private giving can support the UConn community is the Students First fund, an initiative established through the Division of Student Affairs to assist students in times of personal and/or financial crisis.

“The Students First fund helps students when they need it the most,” says John Saddlemire, vice president for student affairs.

“Even a small amount of assistance at the right time will make a difference to a student and his or her family when a crisis hits. Because Close to Home gifts come from those of us who work every day for the betterment of our students, it’s a great fund for employees to support.”

Similarly, at the UConn Health Center, employee contributions help the faculty and staff excel in many areas.

“Without private giving, we can’t provide our patients, families, staff, or clinicians with additional complementary, holistic, or research-directed programs and therapies to enhance their quality of life,” says Nancy Baccaro, coordinator of the breast cancer program at the Carole and Ray Neag Comprehensive Cancer Center.

“Without donors, our ability to implement our vision is limited.”

Close to Home gifts can be made outright or through payroll deduction throughout the year. All donations, regardless of their size, directly support the University including the UConn Health Center through the UConn Foundation, which manages more than 1,100 funds related to education, research, clinical care, and community service at the University.

For more information about the Close to Home campaign, or to see a list of the 2008 Close to Home donors, please visit closetohome.foundation.uconn.edu

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