Holiday Season Ushers In Charitable Campaign
by Linda Weimer
It's the season of the year when our thoughts turn to giving to others, and to those who give to us. UC is a major beneficiary of the generosity of its friends and alumni. As a system, UC received more than $500 million in private donations last year, making it one of the largest charitable organizations in the US, perhaps second only to the Salvation Army.
For the Berkeley campus, private donations once again topped $110 million. This is money being used for staff training and development, support for faculty research, student scholarships, computer facilities, and improvements to the campus environment--from new and renovated classrooms, libraries, and laboratories to safety and clean-up campaigns on the Southside.
In our day-to-day activities, most of us are not that aware of how much the University's welfare depends on these private gifts --especially as state funds have declined so dramatically in recent years.
In this light, it is worth noting that this also is the season of our campus's Charitable Campaign, which is our opportunity to give to others in need. In last year's campaign, we raised more than $160,000 for Bay Area service agencies. As we reflect on what private gifts have meant to us, I hope we will also reflect on what our gifts to the Charitable Campaign can mean to others in the Bay Area who need our support.
California's economy continues to struggle and its impact is keenly felt by many families who face unemployment, illness, and other hardships. The agencies to which we contribute directly benefit these families. In fact, many of our own colleagues and friends have, at times, taken advantage of the services of these agencies.
A letter from Chancellor Tien and information about our campaign will appear soon in your mailbox.
We urge you to look over this material carefully and to consider participating in the campaign, especially if you haven't participated before.
Please help us continue the strong Berkeley tradition of public service and community involvement by participating with any donation. Please consider adding the Charitable Campaign to your holiday gift list this year. Packets should be returned by Dec. 16.