UAB’s 2012 Benevolent Fund Campaign begins this week with lofty goals and a mission to continue to “Give Help, Give Hope” to fellow employees and the Birmingham community.
|(From left) Karen Cole-Plourde and Courtney McDonald have led two new Benevolent Fund efforts that enable employees to become more engaged in the agencies it supports.|
This year’s pledge goal is $1,925,000, up from this past year’s record pledge total of $1,850,212.
“UAB employees continue to demonstrate their generosity every year we do this campaign,” says Lisa Higginbotham, Benevolent Fund program manager. “Every employee can become a part of the Benevolent Fund and offer help and hope to those in need.”
Money pledged by UAB employees supports more than 120 non-profit organizations in the Birmingham metro area, including the United Way, American Cancer Society, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Childcare Resources, Alabama Kidney Foundation, American Heart Association, North Central Alabama chapter of Susan G. Komen, Salvation Army and YWCA, to name a few.
Beginning this past fall, Benevolent Fund council members decided to do more to help the agencies supported by participating in service projects. Members of the council volunteered for the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure event. Volunteers manned the recycle posts along the route and encouraged runners and attendees to recycle their bottles and food.
The group held a second service project in January during UAB’s Day of Service when they volunteered their time at M-Power Ministries, another agency supported by the Benevolent Fund through the United Way. Twelve volunteers completed projects that included hanging curtains in exam rooms, hanging pictures, cleaning carpets, sanitizing the waiting room chairs and tables, washing windows, patching wall papered areas, installing a tower dispenser, grounds keeping, organizing the stock room, purging outdated medicines and donating new toys and books to the waiting area.
The help was invaluable to the clinic, says Blanche McKay McIntyre, director of the health center at M-Power.
“It means a lot to the M-Power staff and patients to know that so many people are willing and able to help us with our mission,” McIntyre says.
The next service project is scheduled from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday, April 7 at the new YWCA of Central Alabama Woodlawn Urban Garden. Volunteers will help plant their garden.
Courtney McDonald, annual giving manager in the Office of Annual Giving, says these types of projects have been an important way of showcasing to Benevolent Fund donors the opportunity these agencies can provide the community.
“The more knowledge that is out there for our employees about the Benevolent Fund and the agencies it supports, the better our chances are of showing the UAB community how these agencies can help,” McDonald says. “If our employees can see first-hand the benefits of these agencies, we hope that will only encourage them to continue to support the Benevolent Fund. It lets them see that the money they are pledging and donating is being put to good use.”
The Benevolent Fund also has added another component to help employees learn more about the agencies it supports — lunch and learn workshops.
The next lunch and learn, which will be from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 25 in the Hill University Center Great Room Hall A, will focus on child care.
Higginbotham says the quarterly service projects and lunch and learn workshops will enable UAB employees to further connect to the agencies they support through the Benevolent Fund.