The United Way of San Luis Obispo County began its 2005 California State Employees Charitable Campaign (CSECC) on Monday.
The county-wide event gives employees of state agencies a chance to donate a portion of their paychecks to benefit their choice of non-profit organizations.
Tony Aeilts, chief of police for Cal Poly’s University Police Department and United Way board member, is heading the month-long campaign.
“I think contributing to the United Way is an excellent way of helping those in our communities who may suffer from any number of life issues,” Aeilts said.
“One of the great things about members of the Cal Poly community is that we find many ways to help support our neighbors.”
The campaign includes local employees from Cal Poly, Atascadero State Hospital, California Men’s Colony, Cal Trans, Paso Robles Youth Authority and State Parks among many others.
“Traditionally, the CSECC has raised more than $200,000 in San Luis Obispo County each year,'” said Charlotte Alexander, executive director of United Way of San Luis Obispo County.
“Employees of State agencies have been generous in supporting local health and human service efforts. Through the campaign, they can give a little out of each paycheck each pay period, which adds up to a lot of financial support for many worthy causes.”
Money raised by the CSECC stays local and can make a direct impact in the immediate area.
“It’s important to remember that right here in SLO County there are children who go to bed hungry at night; there are seniors who can’t afford their medications; there are women who are victims of domestic violence,” said Alexander.
The CSECC was established in 1957 as a means of providing a single charitable fundraising drive in the State community.
It ensures that each state employee has the opportunity to make a charitable gift in the form of a payroll deduction.
“As a police officer of many years, I have seen how organizations like United Way make a difference, not only in the lives of people who individually need help, but also in the increased health of our communities in general,” Aeilts said.
“Simply speaking, it makes lives better for everyone.”
Each fall, state employees are given a payroll deduction pledge form, along with a brochure listing nearly 700 participating charitable agencies. Donors may select an agency included on the list, or any tax-exempt agency not mentioned in the brochure.
Acting as manager of the local effort, United Way of San Luis Obispo directly distributes funds to the designated non-profit organization.
For interested donors with no specific recipient in mind, an option of supporting the Community Fund is offered. Gifts to this fund support over 50 local programs with community goals.
For more information, visit United Way of San Luis Obispo County at www.unitedwayslo.org.