Harvard’s annual tradition of giving back to the community is reaching out further than ever this year.
Faculty and staff are being asked to open up their hearts and their wallets by participating in the Community Gifts Through Harvard Campaign 2000, with the fundraising goal set at $915,000.
The campaign was launched at a kick-off luncheon for more than 200 of the solicitors and campaign workers at the Charles Hotel on Wednesday, Nov. 1. The luncheon was hosted by President Neil L. Rudenstine and Campaign Chair Paul S. Grogan, Vice President for Government, Community, and Public Affairs.
Marian L. Heard, president and chief executive officer of the United Way of Massachusetts Bay, delivered a rousing speech to the audience, and presented Rudenstine with a plaque, thanking him for his support of the campaign during his tenure as President.
“This campaign provides enormous benefit to our host communities,” says Rudenstine. “Last year, donations totaled $871,912 – a 9 percent increase over the previous year. This year we hope to exceed that amount by encouraging more participation.” Last year, the participation rate was 37 percent.
The campaign benefits local agencies that sponsor programs and services to prevent child abuse, provide home health care for the elderly, provide patient services, prevent drug and alcohol abuse, distribute food for the hungry and the homeless, fight racism and discrimination, break the cycle of substance abuse and crime, as well as those that focus on cancer research and education.
Last year, 52 percent of the contributions went to the United Way of Massachusetts Bay. Other beneficiaries include Community Works, Rosie’s Place, AIDS Action Committee, Partners in Health, University Lutheran Homeless Shelter, Planned Parenthood, Combined Jewish Philanthropies, Shelter Inc., Cultural Survival, Literacy Volunteers of Massachusetts, and Horizons Initiative.
Harvard’s campaign gives employees and retirees the option of donating to the charity of their choice. Pledge cards and brochures will be delivered this week by campaign “solicitors,” co-workers who can answer questions about the drive. Gifts can be made by cash, check, stock, or payroll deductions that begin in January 2001.
“This is a highly efficient way to provide support to our host cities of Cambridge and Boston,” says Grogan, “and I hope you will all join us in this effort.”
The campaign runs throughout the month of November.