Campaign leaders can make a big difference
Although the Good Neighbors Campaign officially will end Oct. 31, gifts and pledges will be accepted until the end of December.
The tally to date for this year’s campaign was approximately $1.085 million, just $215,000 short of the $1.3 million goal.
At USC Information Technology Services, campaign leaders Shondra Brookins, Luz Prada and Tracy Kerr turned their reception area into a carnival, complete with a big top, cotton candy and a giant bag of popcorn. Actually, the popcorn was a poster filled with the names of donors from their department.
Ilee Rhimes, chief information officer and vice provost of Information Technology Services, donated USC football tickets and an iPad for the department’s raffle.
Following that example, an anonymous donor left a Nintendo Wii game console and an Apple gift card on Kerr’s desk with instructions to use them in the raffle to garner additional donations.
“We really believe in this program,” said Kerr, the department’s director of human relations and office resources.
Every year the Good Neighbors Campaign increases its goal, and each year USC schools, departments and campaign leaders find innovative ways to get their audiences involved.
Thanks to staff and faculty donations, there are 40 programs in local neighborhoods that offer tutoring for math and science, jazz lessons after school and martial arts on the weekends.
Brookins’ two children, ages 12 and 6, attend Weemes Elementary School and the 32nd Street/USC Visual and Performing Arts Magnet School. The children succeed in part because of the resources available to them by attending the USC Family of Schools, she said.
At the USC Libraries, Dean Catherine Quinlan has put up cash to spark participation at the 23 libraries across campus.
Each participant in the department has a ticket entered in a raffle. The winners receive $15,000, $10,000 or $5,000 to be used to benefit the participant’s library or unit.
Last year the money was used to increase electronic resources, buy new chairs for study areas and boost acquisitions in philosophy, religion and social studies.
“I wanted to demonstrate that when you support the Good Neighbors Campaign, you are really giving to yourself,” Quinlan said.
Last year the libraries’ campaign participation rate was 66 percent, ranking it 25th out of 46 administrative units across campus. This year’s goal is to rank within the top 20 in participation.
Although Quinlan is active in the campaign, she knows that much of the work is performed by campaign leaders Sara Tompson, Stephanie Foreman, John McIntyre and Najwa Hanel, who reach out to 250 staff and faculty members within USC Libraries.
“At USC we give back to our neighborhoods because they give so much to us,” Quinlan said.