Benevolent Fund celebrates employees’ hard work, generosity

Written by 

ben fund 4President Ray Watts addresses the audience at the Benevolent Fund meeting.UAB’s Benevolent Fund announced that employees pledged $1,817,144 dollars to this year’s campaign during its annual campaign celebration luncheon July 17.

“This is a vital program that reflects the mission and core values of UAB,” UAB President Ray Watts said to more than 100 attendees in gathered in Bartow Arena’s Green and Gold Room. “Faculty and staff all over campus partnered to serve our community and to help employees in need.

“It is due to your good work that this program is so effective in bringing better health and quality of life to our community and our fellow employees, both directly and through the agencies with which we partner.”

The Benevolent Fund provides assistance to more than 120 social service agencies that form a safety net for the larger Birmingham community through the United Way, local health agencies and independent grants.

Its Employee Emergency Assistance Program (EEAP) also helps UAB employees facing financial crisis. This past year, 230 UAB employees received more than $248,000 in direct financial assistance through the EEAP.

Honorary chairs for this year’s campaign were Michael Reddy, D.M.D., dean of the School of Dentistry and Jordan DeMoss, associate vice president of UAB Hospital.

ben fund 1“Their leadership has been important to the success of the campaign,” said Lisa Higginbotham, director of the Benevolent Fund. “[Reddy and DeMoss] put their names behind our campaign this year and contributed significantly to its success.”

Contributions to the Benevolent Fund are always welcomed and encouraged. Visit www.uab.ed/benfund for more information, including a list of supported agencies. You can specify the agencies you would like to support with your dollars. Any non-designated funds are first donated to the EEAP.

“I am pleased to work for an entity like UAB, which isn’t just a part of this community but is a community leader and pacesetter that encourages its employees to be a vital force for good in our community,” said Steve Murray, Benevolent Fund Council president.

Campaign awards

The Benevolent Fund also presented its annual awards to schools, departments and divisions at the luncheon:

• Leadership Award — Health Services Foundation

The Leadership Award is presented to the area that increases the number and dollar amount of donors contributing at least $1,000 per year. Recruitment breakfasts were held for Health System, Health Services Foundation and School of Medicine employees.

• Shining Star Award — Mervyn H. Sterne Library

The Shining Star Award is presented to the most outstanding campaign in an area with 100 or less employees. Sterne Library hosted two meetings to reach employees working different shifts and invited speakers from three of the programs the Benevolent Fund supports. More than 80 percent of Sterne Library employees contributed to his year’s campaign.

• Most Innovative Campaign — Viva Health

Most Innovative Campaign is presented to the campaign that goes the extra mile to involve all employees, use creative themes and make the campaign fun for everyone all the while achieving a successful campaign. Turning a parking deck into a mini golf course and offering mulligans for continuous donors and increased pledges showed creativity. This effort generated pledges from 58 percent of employees and Viva Health exceeded its ambitious campaign goal by 12 percent.

• Super Hero Award — School of Health Professions

The Super Hero Award is given to an area that consistently has a strong campaign year after year with many new givers and strong overall performance. SHP had 75 percent of its employees donate to the fund this year and 65 percent of employees are continuous donors.

• Campaign Growth Champion — Callahan Eye Hospital

Campaign Growth Champion goes to the area that shows dramatic improvement in campaign dollars, total givers and overall campaign activity. Callahan participated in planning the Chili Cook-off and held several different events, including an agency fair to garner employees’ attention and promote the Benevolent Fund campaign. Recognition this year goes to an area that increased pledges by 28 percent and donors by 50 percent. Callahan exceeded its fundraising goal by 24 percent.

• Best Overall Campaign — Health Service Foundation

Best Overall Campaign is awarded to the campaign that does it all. The Health Service Foundation involved people from all areas in awareness and fundraising activities. It helped to plan the Chili Cook-off and sponsored several teams, held uniform sales, blue jeans day and a bowling tournament. The Health Service Foundation has increased its gift by 77 percent the past three years and surpassed this year’s campaign goal by 30 percent.