The following is an open letter to Virginia Tech employees from Alan Grant, honorary chair of the 2012 Commonwealth of Virginia Campaign.

Dear Colleagues,

This is the time of year when many of us will get together with our families and friends to celebrate the holidays, share a meal, and reflect on another year gone by.

But many of those around us won’t have such an easy or joyous holiday season.

There are those who are struggling to make ends meet and can’t afford to put a turkey on the table this year. There are people who are battling a debilitating disease, children of disabled veterans, victims of domestic abuse, and many others who can use a helping hand.

Fortunately, we have a way to help.

We are about halfway through our Commonwealth of Virginia Campaign, which raises money for charities in the state and around the world. As of Tuesday, Nov. 13, we have raised $195,411 toward our goal of $300,000. While we are more than half way there, there's still plenty of opportunity to give and the need is great. Please do your part to help  raise the remaining $104,589 by Dec. 14. Making a contribution is easy with our online pledge system.

You can select to which of the roughly 1,300 charities you’d like to contribute, or you can donate to the general fund.

Please take a moment and look at the many charities that are helping people this holiday season. I hope you’ll agree that it will not only make their holidays better, but yours, too.

Thanks in advance,

Alan Grant,

Honorary Chair, 2012 Commonwealth of Virginia Campaign
Dean, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences