UW employees help others year-round through the Combined Fund Drive (CFD), Washington State’s workplace giving campaign. But this year you can start helping by just showing up at the kickoff event, the CFD Charity Fair, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 15, in the Mary Gates Hall Commons — if you bring canned foods or socks, that is.
That’s because this year’s kickoff, with the theme “Socks, Soups and Stews,” also is the culmination of a canned food drive that started on Oct. 1. Bring canned food — or socks — to the event and they will be sent to Northwest Harvest, the only statewide hunger relief agency and one of more than 2,600 charities to whom the CFD gives.
Why socks? That got started last year by Mindy Kornberg, vice president for human resources and the CFD’s executive sponsor, as a way of giving that directly helps the homeless.
The Oct. 15 kickoff event is a charity fair of the type the CFD has been holding for some time now, to help the UW community get to know the charities they help. About 50 CFD-related agencies will be present — and if you want to talk about volunteering, that’s all the better. All UW employees are invited to attend the fair, whether they bring a donation or not.
The Combined Fund Drive will run this year from Oct. 15 until Dec. 5. Giving forms will be mailed out to employees between Oct. 10 and 17, and you can always give online — just visit the CFD Web site and click on “Give Today.”
In good times and bad, the Combined Fund Drive increases its totals every year through the generosity of UW faculty and staff. Last year’s fund drive raised a total of $1.83 million and this year’s goal is $2 million, said Kerri Everly, UW program manager for the CFD.
And while it’s great to give, we all know it’s fun to receive, too. That’s why the kickoff event also features door prizes about every 15 minutes, and raffles for several prizes, with proceeds going to the CFD general fund. These include:
• A Husky football package including a team-autographed football and four tickets to the Nov. 15 game against UCLA
• An “Ultimate Husky Experience” for two — seating along the sidelines with the Husky Marching Band at the Nov. 8 game against Arizona State University and a ride on the helmet car after the first touchdown.
• A night at Seattle’s “W” hotel.
In these tight times, the agencies aided by the Combined Fund Drive continue to need all the help they can get. Everly said she’s proud of the way the UW community steps up to help every year.
“People in our community need our help now more than ever during these tough economic times. The Charity Fair is a great place for faculty, staff and students to meet the charities, learn about their programs and services, and find out how to get involved,” she said.