Compassion, community and chorizo: UA Cares runs through Nov. 12
While it continues to look different from past years, the University's annual workplace giving campaign is underway with the familiar theme of encouraging the campus community to give back.
With annual favorites like the chorizo breakfast and pumpkin crafting contest making their return along with new opportunities to contribute in person and virtually, UA Cares is an opportunity for employees to live the University's core value of compassion while having some fun at the same time.
During the campaign, which runs through Nov. 12, employees are invited to make a one-time donation or recurring payroll deductions through UAccess using the UA Cares tile on the employee homepage. Designated campus colleagues and friends of the University who do not use UAccess can donate online at any time. As always, employees can direct their donations to causes that are important to them. Gifts can support any department or college, active University programs and initiatives through the University of Arizona Foundation, the United Way's community priorities or any of dozens of local nonprofits through the United Way of Tucson and Southern Arizona.
This year's campaign is being coordinated by Nick Hilton, assistant director in the Office of Government and Community Relations. Hilton, who joined the University about a month ago, says he sees great potential in the campaign, especially during such a challenging time.
"During the pandemic, we have seen people rely on nonprofits who haven't needed to do that before," Hilton said. "The story of need has been really prevalent in our community. Those needs haven't gone away. Many of our University organizations that benefit students and employees alike have taken a hit as well and are in need of the campus community to step up."
One University program that faculty and staff can support is the Employee Emergency Fund, which Hilton says gets all of its funding through UA Cares donations.
"That program in the last year has helped people with things like child care, medical needs and automotive needs," Hilton said. "It's a great way for members of the campus community to come together and support their colleagues."
Another is the Campus Pantry, which aims to address food insecurity among members of the campus community.
Hilton says there are plenty of options for those who would prefer to donate their time. United Way Days of Caring, happening Friday through Sunday, offer dozens of in-person and virtual volunteer opportunities throughout the community, as well as the option to create your own project. You can also become a UA Cares ambassador and help connect employees in your unit to giving opportunities. Those interested can reach out to Hilton at firstname.lastname@example.org.
While some events won't be happening this year – such as the formal campaign kickoff and the traditional chili cookoff hosted by the Financial Services Office – others are moving forward. They include:
Office of Budget and Planning's 22nd Annual Chorizo Breakfast and Drawing | Nov. 19, 8-11 a.m.
Volunteers will set up tents in the Alumni Plaza on the Mall and hand out prepackaged breakfasts of eggs, beans, salsa, tortillas and orange juice, either with or without chorizo. With a $10 donation, you can get two plates or opt for a single breakfast and direct $5 to the Campus Pantry. You can submit your order online beginning Oct. 30. Donors will also have an opportunity to enter a drawing for prizes including gift cards to local restaurants, overnight hotel stays and guest passes to fitness clubs.
Office of the Provost's Sixth Annual Pumpkin Crafting Contest
The theme this year is Disney, including Pixar, Star Wars, Marvel and other Disney franchises. Participants are asked to make a $10 donation to cover their entry fee, which will benefit the Campus Pantry. Pumpkins should be dropped off on the fifth floor of the Administration building by 5 p.m. on Oct. 28. Judging will occur on Oct. 29 in the building's Regents Room from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Anyone can cast five free votes. Additional votes can be purchased with donations. Participants can also donate to vote for next year's theme. To enter, email Jonathan Lazar, administrative associate in the Office of the Provost, at email@example.com with "Pumpkin Contest" in the subject line.
Online Food Drive for the Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona
The Division of Human Resources has organized a virtual food drive to benefit the Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona. For every $1 donated, the food bank can provide four meals. You can set up a one-time or monthly donation at the Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona website. These donations will be counted toward the UA Cares fundraising total.
Book Drive to Benefit Oyama Elementary School
The Office of the Secretary of the University is hosting a book drive for Oyama Elementary School's library. The school especially needs books on coding, electronics and robotics, as well as historical books written from diverse perspectives. Books can be dropped off by the reception desk in the lobby of Old Main or in Room 313 of the Administration building. The deadline for donations is Friday, Nov. 12.