“That was awesome,” said Beth McKinney, director of Cornell Wellness, after the successful fundraising campaign for the Cornellians Aiding and Responding to Employees (CARE) Fund.
Nearly 500 employees contributed by donating at least $1 per paycheck or making a one-time donation by March 6. “The fund is almost self-sufficient and will be able to assist many employees facing financial crises for years to come,” McKinney said. Projected income will be just over $15,000 this year.
The incentive of an all-expense paid trip for two to New York City helped to increase participation. Jonathan Butcher, associate professor in Cornell’s Biomedical Engineering Program, was the winner of Campus-to-Campus bus tickets, two nights at the Cornell Club and a $200 gift certificate to Union Square Café.
Gwen Frost, administrative assistant at the Population Medicine and Diagnostic Sciences unit in the College of Veterinary Medicine, won the Ithaca Staycation, which included an overnight at the William Henry Miller Inn and dinner at Taverna Banfi. “I live in Geneva,” Frost said, “so this actually is a vacation.”
The CARE Fund offers financial assistance to faculty and staff who have experienced a non-recurring sudden or emergency-related financial hardship due to an unforeseen or unavoidable event. The program is funded through the donations of faculty, staff and others who are interested in supporting employees in financial need due to unplanned circumstances.
Applicants who are approved for funding can receive between $200 and $1,500 depending on the circumstances. All donations go directly to employees, and money not awarded in a given year is carried forward to the next fiscal year.