Published October 1, 2020
UB launched its annual Employees Campaign for the Community on Tuesday, but for the first time in recent memory, no monetary goal was mentioned.
That’s because the campaign’s focus this year — during the midst of a pandemic — is on the needs of the community, rather than on a financial target, campaign chair James O’Donnell told unit liaisons, campaign steering committee members, senior administrators and others attending the campaign’s Zoom kickoff event. This year’s theme is “good neighbors meet the need.”
O’Donnell, dean of the School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, noted that the fact that the kickoff was being held remotely, rather than physically on campus, “tells you that this is an unusual campaign.”
“Despite the fact we can’t have a traditional kickoff or a traditional campaign,” he said, “its importance to the community is as great as ever, perhaps more so with all that’s going on.”
He said UB faculty and staff have been “somewhat protected” from many of the hardships others have endured due to the pandemic and resulting economic slowdown.
“Many others have not been so fortunate,” he said.
Agencies in the community are stepping up to assist those experiencing hunger and food insecurity, and increasing incidences of family violence, as well as those who have lost their jobs or homes, or are struggling to find child or elder care, O’Donnell said.
But considerable need remains.
O’Donnell stressed that he was not going to talk about a dollar goal for the campaign. “I’m confident those of us at UB will step up to help others in the community,” he said.
“I think this is a year to focus on needs in the community, rather than on a financial target. What we are stressing this year is that we are all in this together, that any contribution, regardless of the amount, will help,” he said.
“Our efforts together will help ensure that our neighbors in need in Buffalo and Western New York will get the help that they need in order to get through to better days.”
President Satish K. Tripathi opened the Zoom meeting by noting that during these unprecedented and uncertain times, “this campaign will have even greater impact on those in need right here in our community.”
“As a public research university, service to our community is just as important to our mission as education and research. Indeed, service permeates all our endeavors,” he said.
“This campaign has long been a model of community engagement and outreach. It is one of the most meaningful ways UB’s faculty and staff can serve and support our greater community.
“Especially during turbulent times such as these, universities like UB should serve as a community of action compelled by the greater good.”
As part of the event, representatives from the United Way of Buffalo and Erie County, FeedMore WNY, the Family Justice Center of Erie County, and the Buffalo Urban League — all agencies that benefit from contributions from UB’s campaign — talked about how their agencies have adapted during the pandemic to continue to serve the community.
For more information about UB’s Employees Campaign for the Community and to donate, visit the campaign website.