LONGMEADOW — In the spirit of the season, the students, staff, and faculty of Bay Path University have been hard at work giving back to the community.
The university kicked off its charitable activities this fall with its 2017 Charitable Fund drive in support of the United Way of Pioneer Valley and Community Health Charities. The university’s partnership with these organizations dates back at least 14 years, and in that time, a total of nearly $200,000 was donated by Bay Path faculty and staff. For 2017, the most substantial sum to date was raised: $20,634.
“The Bay Path community never ceases to amaze me with their generosity,” said Keith Sbriscia, associate director of Human Resources, who runs the United Way and Community Health Charities fund-raiser. “It’s clear that our employees are passionate about the region in which we live and work. Both of these organizations provide essential funding to local charities and have a tremendous impact on the lives of thousands of individuals and families. Bay Path is proud to support their efforts.”
Both Community Health Charities and the United Way are umbrella organizations that represent other nonprofits through partnerships and raise funds on their behalf through workplace giving campaigns and engagement opportunities. Partner charities also have the opportunity to receive funding through grants.
“Workplace giving is one of the simplest, most efficient ways to engage employees in philanthropic community support,” said Katie Kohl, manager, Customer Solutions for Community Health Charities. “Nationwide, workplace giving campaigns constitute a $4 billion annual revenue for charities. These dollars help improve people’s lives by supporting our charity partner missions, programs, and services. The generosity of donors like the faculty and staff of Bay Path University helps to make their work possible.”
Community Health Charities raises awareness and resources for health and wellness by connecting more than 2,000 of the most trusted health charities across the U.S., reaching 17 million donors every year, through workplace giving campaigns, causes, wellness programs, employee engagement, and strategic partnerships.
United Way of Pioneer Valley creates opportunities and improves lives in 25 cities and towns through the United Way Community Fund, and mobilizes people and resources to strengthen area communities by tackling complex issues and driving sustainable change.
The Bay Path students are equally committed to supporting the community and have coordinated many student-driven efforts this fall, including, but not limited to, book, diaper, toy, and food drives and several other donations to meet the needs of local organizations. The annual book drive, which benefits a different charity each year, generated close to 1,000 book donations for the Homework House. The university’s annual Giving Tree hosted by the Education Club to make the holiday season merrier for children from the Greater Springfield area just wrapped up collecting gifts for families in need this holiday season. The canned-food drive to assist in restocking local food pantries that run out of goods during the holiday season, hosted by the university’s Student Government Alliance, is also underway.
Further, Bay Path University has selected New North Citizens Council of Springfield as its holiday charity.
“The devastation in Puerto Rico from Hurricane Maria is overwhelming, and many of the families and loved ones of students, faculty, and staff have been impacted by the catastrophic damage caused by the storm,” said Kathleen Halpin-Robbins, assistant vice president and director of Human Resources.
As more and more families are leaving Puerto Rico to find shelter with family and friends in the continental U.S., many cities in New England are welcoming these families. New North Citizens Council (NNCC) has been designated by Western Massachusetts United for Puerto Rico as a welcome center for Puerto Rican evacuees in Springfield.
“We are so pleased to be partnering with New North Citizens Council of Springfield as this year’s recipient nonprofit organization,” Robbins said. “For 45 years, NNCC has been the Latino center in the North End that welcomes and helps all migrants and immigrants in Western Massachusetts. They stand ready to assist all Puerto Ricans newly arriving from the island who need help.”