This story was originally posted on Center Times Plus on October 9, 2018.
Silver balloons in distinctive S-E-C-C- letters glistened in the sunlight, signaling the launch of UT Southwestern’s annual campaign for employees to build up their communities, and the world, through charitable giving. A festive atmosphere enveloped Eugene McDermott Plaza, with balloons, music, food, and giveaways at informational tables hosted by a dozen charities.
The celebration for the 2018 State Employee Charitable Campaign (SECC) launched on Oct. 2. Attendees enjoyed hot dogs and nachos and earned SECC swag such as tumblers, hats, and canvas bags.
Norma Anderson, a Lab Manager in Molecular Genetics, said the kickoff celebration was a great way to connect with colleagues outside of her everyday job.
“The SECC gives people a way to feel connected and involved in their community in a very easy way,” Ms. Anderson said. “Payroll deduction is a very simple way to give if you’re an introvert.
“I like to give to the North Texas Food Bank,” she noted. “They make a huge contribution to people right here that we see every day.”
She also said she believes this year is primed for UT Southwestern to give more than ever.
“Every year, this celebration gets bigger and more interactive and it’s built upon itself,” she added.
The annual SECC provides UT Southwestern Medical Center employees the unique opportunity to participate in a workplace giving campaign. The SECC represents a wide variety of charities and causes – more than 500 agencies – ranging from small local organizations, such as A Wish With Wings and the North Texas Food Bank, to large and well-known national and international groups, like Habitat for Humanity and Wounded Warrior Project. All have met stringent legal requirements set by the state.
Employees can donate any amount on a monthly basis through the convenience of payroll deduction – without the hassle of writing checks or mailing donations – or they can simply make a one-time deduction.
As the crowd milled around McDermott Plaza, a crew of SECC volunteers helped to navigate employees through the process.
“It’s a nice opportunity to get out of the office and see how I can support the community at large,” said Natasha Baldia, an Accountant in Internal Medicine. “I’ve been blessed with a lot in my life, and it’s a great way to steward that well and give to others. UT Southwestern and the SECC make it really easy to give.”
Thanks to Project Reboot and the upgrade to PeopleSoft 9.2, donating to the SECC is now easier than ever. Download a PDF with detailed directions and screenshots. To donate via check or cash, check out instructions on the SECC page on MyUTSW.
If you couldn’t make the campuswide kickoff, check out the schedule of traveling mini-launches for a chance to get some fun SECC swag.