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March 10, 2010 > County employees pledge more than $1M to local charities

County employees pledge more than $1M to local charities

Submitted By Gwendolyn Mitchell and Lingxia Meng

On March 3, the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors recognized County employees for pledged contributions of more than $1M to the 2009 Combined Giving Campaign, the County's annual charities fundraising event. The past 14 years' contributions amount to more than $8.75M for hundreds of charities in the areas of health and human services, environmental programs and the arts.

"It is heartening to see County employees offer their support to organizations that make life better for members of our own community and globally," said Supervisor Ken Yeager, President of the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors.

"This is the third consecutive year in which County employees have given more than $1M to charities," said Supervisor Liz Kniss, Honorary Chair of the 2009 Combined Giving Campaign. "Thank you to everyone who has made a commitment, even in this tough economy, and congratulations to those who worked toward the campaign's success."

Each year, the County Executive appoints one or two departments to spearhead the campaign and set fundraising goals. The Probation Department and the Public Defender's Office led this campaign.

"I'm really pleased to have been able to co-lead a campaign in which the whole County family rallied to help people in need, the community and the environment," said Combined Giving Campaign Co-Chair Sheila Mitchell, Chief Probation Officer. "During these tough economic times, it's quite an accomplishment for employees to collectively contribute more than $1M of their own hard-earned money."

This sentiment was echoed by Public Defender Mary Greenwood, Combined Giving Campaign Co-Chair.

"I'm pleased but not surprised," she said. "Our co-workers have demonstrated, time and again, they really care about others and about what is happening in the world."

Employees may give to 531 non-profit organizations through six federations: Community Health Charities of California, Arts Council of Silicon Valley, Earth Share of California, Local Independent Charities, Global Impact and the United Way of Silicon Valley. A federation is a group of voluntary, charitable organizations established for the purpose of supplying common fundraising, administrative and management services to its members.

In addition to the six federations, there are more than 25 independent, non-affiliated agencies from which to choose. Local and global causes range from support for cancer, diabetes and Alzheimer's research; food for the hungry; shelter for the homeless; literacy and the arts; the environment and care for children, seniors and wildlife.

"Participation in the Combined Giving Campaign is voluntary and our employees' level of involvement exemplifies their compassion and support for the vulnerable," said County Executive Jeffrey V. Smith. "It also demonstrates their passion for the environment and recognition of their ability to make a difference."

Success of the Combined Giving Campaign
The Combined Giving Campaign was launched in 1973 to enable County employees to donate through their bi-weekly check or make one-time donations. They have given generously for 36 years. Contribution records started in 1996. Since 2000, contributions have increased from $306,000 to $1,057,516.76 in 2009. Campaign results for the past 13 years include:

Campaign Total Dollars Organizations that
Year Contributed Received Donations
2009 $1,057,516 529
2008 $1,055,380 481
2007 $1,084,459 457
2006 $ 940,858 429
2005 $ 769,312 364
2004 $ 750,935 379
2003 $ 630,945 344
2002 $ 674,543 346
2001 $ 400,185 346
2000 $ 306,000 340
1999 $ 322,441
1998 $ 298,982
1997 $ 247,371
1996 $ 220,000
Total $8,758,927

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