by Brian Zylstra | February 5th, 2013
Despite yet another tough year, state employees in Washington proved once again that they could come together and help their community.
The volunteers and donors of the Combined Fund Drive raised more than $5.3 million in 2012 for local, national and global charities through payroll contribution and agency fundraising events, nearly matching the total they generated in 2011.
Once again, the University of Washington topped all higher education institutions by bringing in more than $2.1 million in pledges, eclipsing the mark the school set in 2011. But the Huskies weren’t the only higher education institution that saw increases during their campaign. Bellingham Technical College, Seattle Community College, South Puget Sound Community College and Western Washington University all increased in both participation percentage and total dollars pledged. Tacoma Community College and Clark College also brought in more total donation dollars than in 2011, rounding out an improved higher education segment of the program.
The Department of Social and Health Services topped the list of state agencies with more than $507,000 in total pledged dollars, but it was the Department of Health and the Department of Corrections that realized the sharpest increases in their campaigns. Other significant improvements included the Department of Labor & Industries, Department of Veterans Affairs, Washington State Lottery Commission, Department of Ecology, Puget Sound Partnership and Environmental Hearings Office.
One of the bright spots of the campaign came when the volunteers and donors of the CFD banded together to raise more than $28,000 for victims of Hurricane Sandy during a three-week special event. Funds were collected and disbursed to 10 different member charities that assisted with efforts on the eastern seaboard.
The CFD also paid homage to one of the program’s biggest advocates, running a special campaign in the name of former state human resources director Eva Santos, who lost her long battle with breast cancer. The special campaign began on Eva’s birthday, Dec. 17, and ran through Dec. 28. Donations were split between Susan G. Komen Puget Sound Affiliate and the Breast Cancer Foundation. More than $900 was raised in just two weeks from donors all over the state.
No one had more pride in the accomplishments of the Combined Fund Drive than Secretary of State Sam Reed, who chaired the annual giving campaign with Governor Chris Gregoire one final time, in 2012, before they both retired from office. Under their leadership, the volunteers and donors of the CFD have contributed more than $45 million to charities within the community.
“Creating the Combined Fund Drive was one of my proudest moments in public service.” Reed said. “It was great to see the program thrive and grow into what it is today.”