Every day, employees at Penn seek to reach new heights, to create an even better University and Health System than ever before. Givers at their very core, they contribute to society through knowledge, talent, and invention, as well as through their own kindhearted financial donations.
Indeed, as Vice President for Public Safety Maureen S. Rush says, “Giving is Penn’s way.”
Back again this year is the University and Health System’s annual Penn’s Way workplace giving campaign, running through Nov. 16. The charitable goal is larger than ever: $1.65 million.
“We believe that the more people who participate, the more likely that we will not only reach our goal, but we will surpass it,” says a passionate Rush, who’s co-chairing the initiative again this year with Patricia G. Sullivan, chief quality officer at the Health System. “No matter how small the individual donation may be, what’s really important is getting as many people as possible to participate. We will be stronger together.”
Those interested in participating can, similar to last year, donate via payroll deduction or credit card on the Penn’s Way website through three organizations: Penn Medicine, the United Way, and Philadelphia Alliance for Change. These act as “umbrella groups,” explains Rush, overseeing and validating thousands of agencies—from health centers and libraries to schools and food banks—that donors may choose to contribute to.
“Reach inside your heart,” Rush says, “and find what you’re passionate about.”
Returning this year, too, are the weekly raffle prizes for contributors, Rush says.
For more than a decade, Rush has led and grown Penn’s Way, hoping each year to spread the word across the entire campus, rallying support for an initiative she’s deeply committed to. This year, Rush and Sullivan are working closely with faculty advisers Steven Kimbrough, a Wharton professor and chair-elect of the Faculty Senate, and Peter D. Quinn, vice dean for professional services and senior vice president of the Health System, to better connect the campaign with faculty members.
“We are fortunate to work at the University of Pennsylvania and Penn Medicine; we have great benefits, nice salaries, and our Penn community realizes that many are not as fortunate as us,” Rush says. “Even through the toughest times, we’ve met our charitable giving goals. That speaks to the generosity of Penn community members.”
Last year, Penn exceeded its goal of $1.6 million with $1,827,000—and that wasn’t even with full participation, Rush notes. With nearly 40,000 employees at Penn as a whole, incredible impact can be made if everyone contributes.
With just shy of a month left to go, Rush and Sullivan encourage everyone to find an organization that speaks to you.
“No matter how much we could look and say we don’t have this or that,” says Rush, “when considering the totality of how lucky we are to work at Penn, this is a small token of our appreciation to those who are in need.”