The 21st annual Good Neighbors Campaign, a philanthropic program established in 1994, has a goal of raising $1.6 million to fund community programs.
Thanks to the contributions of university staff and faculty, the campaign has accrued $19.3 million to support more than 650 university-community partnerships.
“These grants foster a strong relationship with families and partners in the communities near USC’s University Park and Health Sciences campuses,” said Thomas Sayles, senior vice president for University Relations.
“The generous contributions of our employees continue to significantly improve the quality of life in our neighborhoods.”
Carolina Castillo, campaign director and executive director of development for USC Civic Engagement, added: “On a daily basis, collectively we are making a difference in the lives of children and families, but we still have more work to do, which is why it’s critical we continue the momentum to raise money for these programs.”
President’s Leadership Circle gala is a success
Grants are given to nonprofit programs for underserved children in grades K-12 and to health centers that effectively manage diabetes and obesity. Other programs support local economic development, job training and the improvement of neighborhood safety.
One hundred percent of the proceeds go to community programs. The campaign’s overhead costs and expenses are covered by the university.
Earlier this month, President C. L. Max Nikias and Niki C. Nikias hosted the President’s Leadership Circle at an annual gala honoring USC staff and faculty who contribute at least 1 percent of their salaries to the Good Neighbors Campaign. Leadership Circle members raised $655,000, accounting for 60 percent of this year’s funds. In 2014, 5,640 staff and faculty members contributed to the campaign, Castillo said.
Students, alumni and friends of USC can also contribute to the program as donors and volunteers. Through student-led organizations such as Troy Camp, the campaign gives USC students an opportunity to develop civic leadership skills outside the campus.
Organizations supported by the Good Neighbors Campaign include the Institute for Nonviolence in Los Angeles, the Children’s Hospital Los Angeles Injury Prevention Program and USC Kid Watch.
The Neighborhood Academic Initiative, a longtime beneficiary, serves public school students from the university’s neighborhoods.
Teresa Lara contributed to this story.