Robbins Urges Employees to Step Up Giving During UA Cares Campaign

Robbins Urges Employees to Step Up Giving During UA Cares Campaign

By Kyle MittanUniversity Communications
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A volunteer passes a plate of chorizo and eggs during the Office of Budget and Planning's chorizo breakfast last year. The event will return for its 19th year on Oct. 26. (Photo: Kyle Mittan/University Communications)
A volunteer passes a plate of chorizo and eggs during the Office of Budget and Planning's chorizo breakfast last year. The event will return for its 19th year on Oct. 26. (Photo: Kyle Mittan/University Communications)
This pumpkin, crafted to appear as if it were eerily crawling out of a suitcase, earned second place in the Office of the Provost's pumpkin-crafting contest last year. The contest will be held again this year on Oct. 30. (Photo: Kyle Mittan/University Communications)
This pumpkin, crafted to appear as if it were eerily crawling out of a suitcase, earned second place in the Office of the Provost's pumpkin-crafting contest last year. The contest will be held again this year on Oct. 30. (Photo: Kyle Mittan/University Communications)
The Financial Services Office has several events planned throughout the UA Cares campaign.
The Financial Services Office has several events planned throughout the UA Cares campaign.

UA President Robert C. Robbins helped kick off this year's UA Cares giving campaign with a goal to increase the number of employees who donate money by 30 percent over last year.

"The fact is, we've underperformed, in my opinion, across the University," Robbins said during the kickoff for the campaign, held Oct. 1 in the Jim Click Hall of Champions in McKale Memorial Center.

UA Cares benefits UA programs through the UA Foundation and local causes through United Way of Tucson and Southern Arizona. This year's campaign will run through Nov. 30, and Robbins is, for the second year in a row, its honorary chair.

Robbins said he wants to see an increase in the number of UA employees who donate money. Last year, 736 employees gave a total of about $396,000, an increase over the $327,000 in donations recorded in 2016.

"Our goal this year is to increase by 30 percent, so that's only another 200 people, and we've got almost 15,000 employees," Robbins added. "So, I think it's a modest, yet meaningful, increase in what we're doing."

Donors weren't the only participants last year: A little more than 500 of the UA's approximately 15,000 employees volunteered in last year's campaign – about 4 percent – putting in about 7,885 hours. That was triple the number of hours logged the year before.

Among those in the audience at the kickoff event were Marcia Rieke, Regents' Professor of Astronomy, and her husband, George, also a Regents' Professor who works in the Department of Astronomy and in the Department of Planetary Sciences. Though both have long been involved in local philanthropy, they said they began actively promoting the campaign to fellow UA faculty members within the last few years.

"When you work at one of the most well-off places in the community, it strikes you when there are so many in need in the community," said Marcia Rieke, who is also associate department head of astronomy.

Since 2002, the campaign has helped raise more than $5 million, said Karla Bernal Morales, senior program coordinator in Government and Community Relations. "Every person who participates is a champion," she said.

Perhaps the easiest way for employees to give is through payroll deduction, which can be set up in UAccess. That option will be available until the campaign ends on Nov. 30.

For those interested in getting involved in events or other fundraising efforts, a list can be found on the UA Cares website as it is updated.

Here is a list of events or fundraisers that are already in the works:

50/50 Cash and Food-4-Football Raffles | Now through Oct. 31

The Financial Services Office is running two raffles through October to benefit the Campus Pantry. In the 50/50 cash raffle, ticket buyers will be entered to win half the money raised, and the other half will be donated to the pantry. The drawing is on Oct. 31 at noon in the University Services Building courtyard. For the Food-4-Football raffle, anyone who brings a nonperishable food item to the drawing will be entered to win two tickets to the Nov. 2 Arizona football game against Colorado. Tickets can be purchased in the University Services Building in the Bursar's Office, or at FSO on the fourth and fifth floors. Tickets also can be purchased in the Procurement and Contracting Services office at the University Services Annex, 220 W. Sixth St. (See the attached flyer for more information about UA Cares events FSO is holding.)

Food Drive | Oct. 15-Nov. 2

The College of Science Staff Advisory Council is holding a food drive to benefit the Campus Pantry. Donations can be dropped off at any department in the College of Science. To see what items the pantry needs most, click here.

College of Humanities Bake Sale | Oct. 17, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. (or until sold out)

The College of Humanities will hold a bake sale to benefit the UA Campus Pantry, Employee Emergency Fund and the college's student scholarships. The bake sale will be held in Modern Languages, Room 345.

Department of Spanish and Portuguese Chili Dog Sale | Oct. 18, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The Department of Spanish and Portuguese will offer chili dogs in Modern Languages, Room 545, to support student scholarships for study abroad programs. For $5, attendees will get a chili dog and potato chips. Add a soft drink for $1.

19th Annual UA Cares Breakfast and Drawing | Oct. 26, 8-10 a.m.

The Office of Budget and Planning will sponsor its annual chorizo breakfast and drawing in Administration, Room 101G. Proceeds will benefit the UA Cooper Center for Environmental Learning, also known as Camp Cooper. A breakfast of chorizo and eggs, beans, salsa, tortillas and orange juice costs $5 per person. Drawing tickets are $1 each or six for $5, and prizes include dinner for two at White Stallion Ranch, four passes to the Tucson Museum of Art and Historic Block, and a $25 gift card to 1702.

Pumpkin-Crafting Contest | Oct. 30

The Office of the Provost will host its annual pumpkin-crafting contest. For participants who supply their own pumpkin, the cost to enter is $5. For $10, entrants will be provided a small pumpkin. The deadline to enter is Oct. 29. This year's theme is "childhood stories," and pumpkins should be decorated to represent a favorite children's story or book. Participants also are encouraged to bring a new or gently used copy of the book as a donation to local nonprofit Literacy Connects. Pumpkins will be displayed and judged on Oct. 30 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the Administration building's Regents Room, Room 705. Those with questions can contact Jonathan Lazar, administrative associate in the Office of the Provost, at jmlazar@email.arizona.edu.

15th Annual FM Chili Cook-Off | Nov. 9, 11:30 a.m.

Facilities Management will host its annual chili cook-off at the Dan Dunlap Stadium Club, Arizona Stadium, Room 601, to benefit Youth On Their Own. Bowls of chili cost $5 each and come with a slice of bread; the all-you-can-eat price is $10. A raffle will be held at the event for prizes. Raffle tickets will cost $1 each or $5 for 10. The chili cook who wins first place will get a prize, and there will be a special drawing for volunteer cooks. Those interested in competing should reach out to Alejandra Zell, senior program coordinator in Facilities Management, at 520-621-7559.

School of International Languages, Literatures, and Cultures Food and Book Drives | Now through Nov. 21

The School of International Languages, Literatures, and Cultures is holding a food drive for the Campus Pantry and a book drive for local nonprofit Make Way for Books. Food donations can be dropped off at the front desk on the second floor of the Learning Services Building. To see what items the pantry needs most, click here. Books can be dropped off at Modern Languages, Room 549, or at the front desk on any floor of the Learning Services Building. Hours for all dropoffs are weekdays between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m.

Handcrafted Necklaces for Sale | Supplies are limited

Kim Pennington, administrative associate in the Office of the Secretary of the University, is making necklaces to support the Southern Arizona Children's Advocacy Center. Necklaces are $10 each and can be purchased in Administration, Room 313, at the front desk.

Do you have a UA Cares event you'd like to share? Tell us about it by sending a note to uaatwork@email.arizona.edu.

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