Middle Tennessee State University kicks off its 2020-21 Employee Charitable Giving Campaign on Thursday, Oct. 1, with an impressive goal of $135,000 that’s already been boosted by a group of early donors.
In a kickoff video announcing the goal Monday, Sept. 28, MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee again encouraged the campus community to pool their monetary resources to help those in need, particularly with the growing needs prompted by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
“In a year that has brought such unprecedented challenge to many of our neighbors and friends, it feels my heart with a great sense of pride and hope that we continue to show our True Blue community spirit through the university’s Charitable Giving Campaign,” said McPhee, thanking the campaign volunteers for their efforts.
“Now more than ever our participation will mean so much to so many … Considering the increased need many of our community members are experiencing because of the pandemic, I am very hopeful that we will not only meet this goal, but that we will exceed it.”
MTSU’s annual Charitable Giving Campaign is a monthlong effort led by a committee of faculty and staff volunteers to rally financial support for worthy causes. The campaign is fueled largely by monthly payroll deductions from employees over the next year, but also allows one-time, lump-sum gifts at the donor’s discretion.
During this year’s Oct. 1-Nov. 2 campaign, participants can designate gifts to 140-plus organizations from a list of 10 independent charities and three federated groups of charities, including Community Health Charities, Community Shares, and local United Way organizations.
Campaign Committee spokesperson Andrew Oppmann, vice president of marketing and communications, reminded those who wish to pledge to go to https://mtsu.edu/givemtsu/ and follow the instructions on how to give “a hand up” to those in need.
Throughout the month participants’ names will be entered into weekly drawings for a variety of “True Blue” swag and reserved parking spaces. All employees are eligible for the drawings, even those who choose not to give, as long as they register at the campaign website maintained by the Information Technology Division.
More than 900 individual givers donated a record-setting $133, 268.57 last year, beating the $130,000 goal, and this year’s campaign got an early jumpstart through a special group of Pacesetter Donors that already have pledged more than $30,600 before Thursday’s kickoff.
In thanking the faculty and academic units for their tradition of “showing our concern for our neighbors,” Provost Mark Byrnes praised Dean David Urban of the Jones College of Business for its impressive seven-year streak of holding the Provost Cup and again challenged the university’s other academic colleges “to seize that cup” from the Jones College.
The Provost Cup is a friendly competition between academic units that is awarded to the college with the highest percentage of employee participation.
In returning the cup to Byrnes for safekeeping until the end of this year’s campaign, Urban reflected on how much has changed over the past year, not just the new normal required because of COVID-19, but also the other tragedies such as the tornadoes that struck Middle Tennessee earlier this year and the many families still recovering from that devastation.
“We are not just giving money to far away organizations,” Urban said. “We are giving money to organizations that directly affect our families, our friends, our neighbors. We need to think about those people as individuals when we think about the capability that we have to contribute to this campaign. … Remember our blessings.”
For more information about the campaign, contact Mary Purdom in the Division of Marketing and Communications at Mary.Purdom@mtsu.edu.
— Jimmy Hart (Jimmy.Hart@mtsu.edu)