The SECC comes to a close at the end of this week. The goal of $235,000 has not yet been reached.
Campaign solicitors for each department are collecting envelopes and making last minute reminders. Friday, Nov. 12, is the final day of the SECC, the official workplace giving campaign for employees throughout state government and the university system.
Through donations, the campaign assists more than 900 agencies and groups.
Here at UNCG, nearly 100 solicitors volunteer to distribute and then collect SECC envelopes each year. Many volunteer year after year.
For example, Lennie Alexander volunteers in University Advancement. “I have been an SECC solicitor about 10 years and love it,” she said, adding, “I am a believer that the more you give the more blessing you receive.”
Dr. John R. Locke (Music) has been an SECC solicitor at least that long. “I very much believe in the mission of the SECC and I have always contributed, myself.” He says he is completely relentless, utilizing an arsenal of emails, hand-written notes, phone calls and personal office visits. “I enjoy pestering my colleagues – 74 on my list this year – until I get an envelope back!”
He is known for giving a reward, as well. “When I get a pledge envelope back, I send that person a thank you note and a pack of M&Ms.”
Dr. Susan Andretta has been the Department of Anthropology’s solicitor for five years. “I do it because I believe in giving and giving back to the community.” She notes that her colleagues in the department are very generous and want to help in ways they can, making her job very easy for her.
Mary Katsikas (Chemisty/Biochemistry) has been a solicitor for four or five years. “All I do is send out a reminder once a week to those who have not handed in their envelopes. It is not really what I do but the fact those in my department want to help me do this. I am fortunate to work with people like this.”
A common refrain from the solicitors was the ready participation from individuals in their departments, such as in Communication Studies, where Dr. Chris Poulos has been the solicitor for three years. “I do it to make a small difference,” he says. Any secrets? “Just regular follow up,” which, he explains, “could be called nagging. It seems to work.”
Karen Christensen (Accounting Services) has done it for several years. The fellow solicitors she sees at the beginning of the campaign – as Peggy Woods gives instructions – and at the end as the campaign chair announces the total, are friends from all parts of campus she always enjoys being with. “Before Peggy sends the email, I create a list of the people in Cashier’s Office, Accounting Services and Fixed Assets. On the list I write ‘date handout packet’ and ‘date receive return envelope’. Then I create emails to send to everyone – one for the start, one for the middle, and one to remind when the last day to turn in envelopes. I have given candy some years when they hand in envelopes, [but I wanted to do] something different this year, since so many are trying to be healthier.” She also prints out the news about the SECC in Campus Weekly to hang on the office bulletin board, “with a picture of the thermometer to watch the contributions grow.”
Why does she do all this?
“Everyone needs help sometime in their life, so it is very important to give back to others where you can,” she says.
Visual: SECC solicitors received information and instructions Sept. 17. Two solicitors quoted in story, Mary Katsikas (in white sweater) and Chris Poulos (in dark blue shirt), are in center of photo.
By Mike Harris
Photography by Mike Harris