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Friday, October 27, 2000
Houston, Texas
Volume 66, Issue 49 

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Charity campaign gets under way at UH

UH's 'Cougars Caring for the Community,' begins its first week with donations from employees

Cougar News Services

UH employees have started to donate money during the first week of a state charity drive -- and some may even get prizes for the act.

In the annual State Employee Charitable Campaign, all state employees can make tax-free donations to up to six nonprofit organizations of their choice.

Employees can either make the donations through cash gifts or through payroll deductions.

More than $100,000 was raised at UH last year for the campaign, the second-largest sum from a Texas higher education institution.

UH officials say the goal this year is to increase the donation.

"It is so important for the University of Houston to give back to the community of which it is part," Vice President of University Advancement Kathy L. Stafford told UHCN News.

SECC's theme this year is "Cougars Caring for the Community."

UH employees who pledge money during the first week of the drive are eligible for prizes donated by colleges and departments at UH and outside merchants. The first week ends today.

The prizes, which include stays at the University Hilton, gift certificates, athletic tickets and theatrical and musical performance tickets, will be given away in drawings held each Friday until Nov. 17, when the drive ends.

"The generosity of UH sends a message to our Houston neighbors that the University is an active and caring part of the community," said Stafford, who is also the chairwoman of the University's 2000 SECC.

Each UH department has a campaign coordinator who is responsible for collecting pledge money and who can answer employees' questions about SECC.

SECC benefits charitable organizations within the city of Houston, some of which have ties to UH departments.

Employees at the UH Speech, Language and Hearing Clinic, for example, can make donations to help fund services by the clinic offered to children and adults.

To be eligible to receive funds raised by SECC, the organization must be nonprofit and tax-exempt and must allocate no more than 25 percent of its annual revenue to fund raising and administrative costs.

It must also submit an application to be reviewed and approved by a state employees' committee.

The University's goal this year is to increase the staff's participation rate to 35 percent from last year's 25 percent.

UH raised about $103,000 last year. Among Texas higher education institutions, only the University of Texas Health Science Center raised more money, with more than $162,000 pledged.

More than $5 million was raised statewide.
 

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