The 2019 Commonwealth of Virginia Campaign (CVC) started on Sept. 30 and has already raised nearly $32,000.

CVC is an annual workplace giving campaign. State employees raise and donate money to one or more of approximately 1,000 participating charities in their communities and across the commonwealth. Charities range from health and human services to animal welfare, from environmental conservation to medical research, and everything in between. There is a charity for everyone.

The campaign began with a kickoff celebration on Monday hosted for department representatives, the CVC steering team, and university administrators.

Ed Lener, associate director of collection management and Virginia Tech CVC chair, kicked off the event. President Tim Sands and the HokieBird were also in attendance.

“I always think about the opportunity with the Commonwealth of Virginia Campaign in terms of my individual opportunity and also the opportunity to engage our community,” said Sands. “That feeling of your dollars going directly to help an organization that reflects your values and your concerns for the community is just an amazing feeling.”

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Photo of HokieBird and Dawn Jefferies at the 2019 CVC kickoff.
HokieBird and Dawn Jefferies at the 2019 CVC kickoff

Virginia Tech Associate Director of Visual Strategy, 2019 CVC Honorary Chair, and former news anchor Dawn Jefferies spoke about the importance of giving back.  

“I have been a proud member of our community for nearly 20 years,” said Jefferies. “In my time as a broadcast journalist, I have witnessed many examples of how community support and engagement changes lives.”

Jefferies stepped back into her role as a journalist to engage the community by interviewing local charities, who were onsite at the kickoff, about their work. One charity, Literacy Volunteers of the New River Valley (LVNRV), provides free instruction for adults in reading, writing, and math. Linda Jilk, the executive director for LVRNV said CVC has been invaluable to them.

“We wouldn’t be here without United Way and CVC support,” said Jilk. “We don’t get any state or federal funds, so we are funded by the people, individuals, and organizations in our community.”

As the honorary chair, Jefferies selected the Blacksburg Volunteer Rescue Squad and the Women’s Resource Center of the New River Valley as the two recipients of the silent auction funds.

Last year’s campaign surpassed the $375,000 goal, bringing in over $380,000. This year the goal is set at $390,000.

This year’s campaign will run until Dec. 13. Since 2010, Virginia Tech employees have donated more than $2.8 million to local charities in the New River Valley and across the Commonwealth of Virginia.

No donation is too small; even a $5 donation can make a difference in someone’s life. Employees can donate through an online payroll deduction, choosing either a one-time deduction or a 24-pay period deduction. Cash and checks are also accepted. Pledge cards are available for cash and check donations and those who do not have online access.

CVC is administered by the Division of Human Resources and led by a steering team made up of representatives from across the university. Questions about the campaign should be directed to department representatives. More information can be found on the CVC website.

- Written by Ariadne Manikas, Class of 2020