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Upstate launches Power of Us giving program

The Upstate Foundation will open its Power of Us program on May 15. The Upstate Medical University workforce is the vital and powerful source of support for the Foundation’s annual Power of Us employee giving program.

Established in 1998, the program engages employees in philanthropy by offering the opportunity to contribute to a fund within the organization where they work, and doing it easily and conveniently through payroll deduction.

The program was rebranded Power of Us in 2016 to connect with the compelling strength of giving as a group of employees to a common cause.

“Upstate employees believe in its mission and give their time and talents every day to make a difference in the lives of patients, students and the community,” said Pamela Wells, director of grateful patient, family engagement and annual giving at the Upstate Foundation.

“Choosing to donate through Power of Us makes the point that employees believe so strongly in Upstate that they are willing to support it above and beyond their daily work,” Wells noted.

One way employees at Upstate learn about ongoing funding priorities is through the “Featured Fund” option highlighted during Power of Us. The Upstate family – clinicians, researchers, faculty and staff – has a long history of enthusiastically supporting major fundraising initiatives. Over the years, these have included efforts to build the Upstate Golisano Children’s Hospital, Upstate Cancer Center, and Upstate Golisano Center for Special Needs.

This year, the featured fund is the campaign for Child and Adolescent Mental Health. May is Mental Health Awareness Month, and Upstate healthcare workers are all too aware of the crisis in the availability of mental health services in the Central New York area. The primary goal of this campaign is to increase clinical capacity and improve access to critical services where they are most needed.

“The Foundation is very close to reaching its goal of raising $5 million for Child and Adolescent Mental Health. Through Power of Us, employees can help push the campaign over the finish line,” said campaign director Julie Simms.

Recognition walls for founding donors are located in many Upstate buildings, a testament to the robust support of the Upstate workforce. Power of Us is a way for employees to support these major campaigns through the popular payroll deduction option or through one-time gifts. And in keeping with tradition, faculty who make a $1,500 gift or pledge and staff who make a $300 gift or pledge to support the campaign for Child and Adolescent Mental Health will be featured on the donor wall of honor.

The Upstate Foundation has supported the mission of Upstate Medical University since 1976, conducting multi-year, multi-million dollar capital and endowment campaigns, administering alumni associations for the colleges of Nursing and Health Professions, and running annual campaigns for Upstate University Hospital, Upstate Golisano Children’s Hospital, and the Upstate Cancer Center, in addition to managing over 1,200 funds that support patient care, education, and research.

In mid-May, every employee at Upstate will be offered the opportunity to participate in Power of Us via an email invitation. As always, employees may contribute to Child and Adolescent Mental Health or to any Upstate fund with personal meaning, or both. There are more than 1200 funds from which to choose. One hundred percent of each donation will support the fund(s) chosen by the employee.

Caption: The Upstate Foundation opens its Power of Us giving program May 15. Mary Nelson is one of many Upstate employees who give back yearly through Power of Us.