State employees target charities

Even when economic times are tight, state employees aggressively donate to charities. That tradition is expected to hold true this year, as the 51-year-old California State Employees Charitable Campaign launches its annual drive.

The luncheon is planned tomorrow (Sept. 5) at the Sacramento Convention Center. The event is being held in tandem with the United Way Capital Region’s charitable drive. United Way manages the state employees’ effort. United Way has planned its own formal launching at a breakfast at the convention center earlier in the day.

During the last drive, the California State Employees Charitable Campaign, or CSECC, raised about $8.7 million dollars, said spokeswoman Gabrielle Stevenson. This year, they hope to reach $10 million.

The convention center will be the site of some 100 booths set up by nonprofits and an array of agencies involved in charitable work that will provide information to the attendees at the kickoff luncheon.

“All the people go back to their offices to talk about what nonprofits are out there,” Stevenson said. “They spread the word.”
Despite the state’s economic malaise, backers of the charitable drive hope that they can surpass last year’s total. Contributions can be made through paycheck deductions.

“Oddly enough, even though the economy is down, charitable giving is up. It’s not out of the question to go above last year. People know they have a paycheck, and that they should spread it out. It will be more important than before,” she said.

Among those appearing at either the breakfast or luncheon events are Lt. Gov. John Garamendi,  Placer County Sherriff  Ed Bonner,  Karen Baker, Secretary of Service and Volunteering; and Jay Allan, Director of Communications for the state’s Office of Homeland Security.

The Campaign Kick-Off events, the luncheon and the breakfast, are expected to attract more than 1,300 community members from business and nonprofit sectors.

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