‘Tis the season for giving, and William & Mary faculty and staff are doing just that through the annual Combined Virginia Campaign.
The campaign, which runs through Dec. 21, offers state employees an opportunity to give to non-profit or charity organizations through one -- time gifts or payroll deductions. Donors may choose from a list of more than 1,300 charities, including many in the Hampton Roads area.
This year, the CVC committee at William & Mary has set a goal of signing up 321 donors – that’s a donor for every one of William & Mary’s 321 years of existence.
“The CVC provides an easy way for the William & Mary Community to contribute to organizations that are close to their hearts,” said Carla Costello, chair of the CVC committee. “For example, I contribute to the Food Bank. Food is a basic necessity that no one should be without. It greatly saddens me to realize there are people who can’t afford something as vital as food. I know that I am blessed and I hope to help make a difference-even if it is just a little difference-to someone in need.”
William & Mary participants have a new way to donate this year: online and with a credit card. As in the past, donors may also give via cash or check and donate using a paper form, which they can get by emailing Costello.
Also new this year is the way in which the committee is getting word out about the campaign. In the past, the committee has hosted a kickoff event to generate interest. However, this year, the committee has asked individual schools, departments and offices to find ways to promote the CVC internally by either hosting a CVC-related event or incorporating a CVC component into an existing event.
The Offices of the President and Provost opted for the former and invited Bridget Casey, development director for Avalon: A Center for Women and Children, to speak with staff members about the center’s work and their current needs. The center provides a shelter and services for women and children who are survivors of domestic abuse or sexual assault. Organized by Costello, who works in the President's Office, and Ruth Hines from the Provost’s Office, the presentation was attended by President Taylor Reveley, who introduced Casey and lauded the CVC for supporting organizations like Avalon.
The W&M Law School also promoted the CVC by creating a display in the school’s lobby to raise awareness of needs in the local community, needs that organizations like Grove Christian Outreach Center are addressing. The center offers multiple services, including a food pantry and clothes closet, for residents in the Grove section of James City County.
“If you live here in Williamsburg, you might not be terribly aware of the need that’s here in Williamsburg,” said Terri Lorincz, who helped organize the display with Rebecca Knowles and Betta Labanish.
The display included a computer station where people could sign up for the CVC. People were also encouraged to leave canned goods, coats and shoes at the display to be donated to Grove. Lorincz, chief financial officer of the law school and controller of the Marshall-Wythe School of Law Foundation, and Knowles, assistant dean in the Office of Career Services, have been involved in the center for many years and have created similar displays at the law school in the past. However, this is the first year that they have incorporated the CVC in it.
Lorincz said that supporting organizations like Grove provides her with an important perspective and makes her realize that she has much to be grateful for – including the ability to give.
“I’ve seen and heard a lot in Grove about circumstances that I am just blessed that I haven’t been in,” she said. “I’ve also seen people in Grove happy to make due with a lot less than what I take for granted.”