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County of Santa Clara Supervisors Praise Generosity of County Employees During Challenging Economic Times

Employees from Various County Departments Pledged More than $892,000 to the 2010 Combined Giving Campaign

SANTA CLARA COUNTY, CALIF. – This week, the County of Santa Clara Board of Supervisors recognized County employees who, in spite of challenging and uncertain economic times, tirelessly and selflessly supported the County’s 2010 Combined Giving Campaign.

The Combined Giving Campaign was launched by the County in 1973 to give employees the opportunity to contribute to charitable causes. Every October, employees pledge to over 500 nonprofit organizations through bi-weekly payroll deductions or one-time contributions. For the 2010 “Join the Team… Your Change Counts” Combined Giving Campaign, the total pledge was $892,096.33.

“It is truly remarkable that tough times have not dampened the enthusiasm of our employees for pitching in and helping,” said President Dave Cortese, County of Santa Clara Board of Supervisors. “To each one of our employees who took the Combined Giving Campaign to heart, Thank You! You continue to make a difference in our community with your selfless actions.”

County employees pledged donations to most of the 501 nonprofit organizations through six charitable federations: Arts Council Silicon Valley, Community Health Charities, EarthShare of California, Global Impact, Local Independent Charities of America, and United Way Silicon Valley. A federation is a group of voluntary charitable organizations that provide common fundraising, administrative and management services to its members. In addition, employees were able to donate to more than 25 independent, non-affiliated agencies. 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.

“Our employees care deeply about the residents we serve—day-to-day in their jobs and through their charitable giving,” said Supervisor Ken Yeager, Honorary Chair of the 2010 Combined Giving Campaign.“I can’t thank our staff and campaign coordinators enough for their commitment to these terrific community organizations.”

At Tuesday’s Board of Supervisor’s meeting, the 2010 Combined Giving Campaign Co-Chairs highlighted the work of coordinators, who, throughout the different County departments and agencies developed activities to raise awareness and participation.

For the 2010 Combined Giving Campaign 18, out of 41 County departments increased their staff participation.

“In tough economic times, simple acts of charity can represent so much,” said Campaign Co-Chair Bert Hildebrand, County Communications Department Director. “Many of our employees are facing personal financial challenges themselves, but they did not hesitate to share with others less fortunate. It is inspiring that their commitment to help remains intact.”

“We are proud of the generosity demonstrated by County employees in the Combined Giving Campaign,” said Co-Chair Kevin O’Day, Department of Agriculture and Environmental Management Director. “Every donation has significance. By working together, our collective efforts support charities that help those in need, enrich our lives and protect our environment.”

In the past 14 years the Combined Giving Campaign has collected more than $9 million on behalf of hundreds of charities that benefit health and human services, environmental and educational programs:

Campaign Year Total Dollars Contributed Organizations that Received Donations  
2010   $892,096 501  
2009   $1,053,008 529  
2008   $1,055,455 481  
2007   $1,100.020 457  
2006   $931,790 429  
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   $298,982    
1997   $247,371    
1996   $220,000    

One significant achievement of the 2010 Combined Giving Campaign was to “go green” by reducing promotional paper use. Efforts included decreasing the number of printed brochures and materials, from 15,000 to 5,000, and making the information available online for both the County’s intranet and the internet. Participation incentives also included a canvas reusable grocery tote, pencils made from recycled paper, and reusable water bottles.

“Our employees set a stellar example of commitment, compassion and generosity,” said County Executive Jeffrey V. Smith. “They are always mindful of those in need and their donations contribute to the wellbeing of the community.”

Media Contact: Gwendolyn Mitchell/Marina Hinestrosa, Office of Public Affairs, (408) 299-5119
Posted: March 16, 2011