With a campuswide goal of $115,000, Middle Tennessee State University recently kicked off this year’s Employee Charitable Giving Campaign inside the Student Union with a call for greater participation across campus to help those within our community in need.
The campus kick-off event featured representatives from several area nonprofits. Attendees rotated from table to table to learn about the organizations and how donations help them fulfill their missions. The campaign is part of an overall Tennessee Board of Regents’ theme of “Timeless Value in Giving.”
“We are more than a part of this community,” said MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee. “We are an integral part of this community. … We are a caring institution. What better way can we show that — not just in words, but in deeds — than by giving back?”
The university has increased its giving each year, and McPhee said he expects the campus to not only meet the $115,000 goal but to “blow the top off” and exceed it.
Donations can be made online at www.mtsu.edu/givemtsu. The sign-up period runs from Oct. 1 to Nov. 1.
Employees may designate their gifts to any charitable organization from a list of nine independent charities and three federated charitable organizations, including Community Health Charities, Community Shares and local United Ways.
John Hood, director of community engagement and support at MTSU, urged the crowd gathered inside the ballroom to recognize the positive impact that comes from their giving and to challenge their co-workers to do the same.
“We’ve had some great results in recent years, and I think this year is going to be even better,” Hood said.
“There are folks that need help in this community. There are folks on this campus that need help. And they can be helped by agencies that are represented here today.”
Campaign chair Gloria Bonner, assistant to the president in the Office of Community Engagement and Support, said that with slightly more than 2,200 employees at MTSU, this year’s goal could be easily attained if each employee pledged $52 per year — or $4.33 per month.
Bonner said the campaign will give special recognition to campus units, such as offices, centers, departments, dean’s offices, administration groups, that record 100 percent participation by members.
Another special recognition started last year is the Provost’s Cup, which is presented to the campus unit that pledges the largest amount of funds. The College of Basic and Applied Sciences won the cup last year, and Dean Bud Fischer said his college is looking to win it again.
“Being True Blue, really in this context, has so much to do with helping your neighbor,” Provost Brad Bartel said at the kickoff. “We have a social obligation to be a part of the fabric of this area. There is a large undercurrent of need in this area. The money goes for the work that is needed to improve the fabric of our society.”
Jim Thompson, campaign chair for the United Way of Rutherford and Cannon Counties and owner of Thompson Services, encouraged the university community to increase its level of giving.
“For whom much is given, much is expected,” Thompson said. “If you’re making money out of this community, you owe it to the community to give a portion of that back. … That’s our responsibility.”
Bonner noted that the payroll deduction option is available for employees and is “a very cost effective way” of making a gift.
“We’re excited about the challenge that’s been issued to the university community,” Bonner said. “I’m thrilled to see the support from university leaders in challenging all of us to give from our hearts, because we are a community university.”
Anyone with questions about the campaign should contact Allison McGoffin in the Office of the Provost at 615-898-2953.
— Jimmy Hart (firstname.lastname@example.org)