Employees contribute to UMMC's missions through giving campaignPublished on Monday, October 13, 2014 Published on October 13, 2014 University of Mississippi Medical Center employees will have the opportunity to support any institutional enterprise of their choice during the Office of Development’s annual “Giving Starts Here” campaign, which will officially launch Oct. 20-24.The theme of this year’s drive, “Different Teams, One Family,” reflects a more expansive approach to employee giving: Faculty and staff can indicate where their pledges of single or biweekly payroll deductions are to be distributed among the many existing UMMC “funds.”According to Travis Bradburn, associate executive director in the Office of Development, the campaign is intended to give employees an opportunity to give to the part of the institution’s mission about which they feel the most passionate.“The University of Mississippi Medical Center touches our lives professionally and personally in many different ways,” Bradburn said. “When you choose to give, you can indicate which areas you want to support.”The annual campaign has helped foster a culture of philanthropy at the Medical Center, said Sara Merrick, executive director of development and alumni affairs.“Philanthropic support from our employees says a lot about who we are as an organization,” Merrick said. “When our employees choose to give back to the institution, it shows how strongly they feel about our missions.To see why UMMC employees, clockwise from top left, Driscoll Devaul, Dr. Jorge Salazar, Sharon Cabral, Dr. Calvin Thigpen, Skye Stoker and Pam Farris participate in the campaign, visit umc.edu/givingstartshere.“When people see our own employees donating to UMMC, they know we really believe in what we do.”Employees participating in the campaign will be given a tangible symbol of their support, according to Lori Beth Duperier, developmental and donor relations liaison.“They will receive special ‘giving’ pins that they can wear on their ID badges,” she said. “The pins signify that these employees care enough about the Medical Center’s missions that they’re willing to donate an amount of their choice to help improve the health of their fellow Mississippians and leverage other gifts from the community.”A table will be set up at each ‘hype’ event during Employee Giving Week. Employees who register their pledges at the table or on the Employee Giving Campaign website will receive their giving pin, a discount card for local restaurants and a Giving Week T-shirt with the “Different Teams, One Family” theme.The football-themed promotion will “kick off” with a tailgate party from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 20, in the breezeway between the Arthur C. Guyton Research Center and the School of Medicine, where many different food trucks will be on campus.A free pancake breakfast from 6:30-9:30 a.m. in the University Hospital cafeteria will start a day of giving on Tuesday. On Wednesday, Dr. James Keeton, vice chancellor for health affairs, and Dr. LouAnn Woodward, associate vice chancellor for health affairs, will join in the giving spirit by personally serving a catfish lunch from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. in the courtyard of the Winfred L. Wiser Hospital for Women and Infants.A free ice cream party will be on tap from 2-4:30 p.m. Thursday in the University Hospital cafeteria. And the weeklong giving promotion will conclude with a tailgate finale, including vendors and a performance by the Southern Komfort Brass Band, from 3-5 p.m. in the breezeway between the Guyton Research Center and the School of Medicine.Throughout the week, “Different Teams, One Family” football jersey-style T-shirts will be available free to those who give a minimum $2 biweekly payroll deduction donation or a one-time gift of $50.The “Giving Starts Here” event isn’t limited to the week of Oct. 20-24. Bradburn said UMMC employees can register a pledge on the Employee Giving Campaign website 24 hours a day, seven days a week.“Every gift matters and will make a difference,” Bradburn said.To see a list of available UMMC “funds” to support and to make a donation, visit umc.edu/givingstartshere.