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Community Giving begins

The 2003 MIT Community Giving at MIT Campaign kicks off on Friday, Oct. 31 when volunteers, some wearing festive masks, will offer Halloween morning treats and information about the annual campaign to members of the MIT community as they head into work.

All employees will receive pledge packets during the first week of November. The Community Giving Campaign runs through Dec. 31.

"Given a slowing economy and reductions in state and municipal funding, the challenges facing health and human service agencies are formidable," wrote John Curry, executive vice president and this year's campaign chair, in a letter to the MIT community. "Every donation, large or modest, is appreciated and vital to the work of area nonprofit organizations."

In 2002, employee donations to the campaign exceeded $385,000. The goal for this year is $390,000 and increased participation.

Department representatives will help raise awareness of MIT's involvement with community service and encourage people to contribute to the campaign. MIT is "a good neighbor and a force to be reckoned with among doers of good deeds," Paul Parravano told them at an Oct. 20 orientation event. Parravano is co-director of the Office of Government and Community Relations.

"Improving life in our community keeps MIT strong and results in leadership opportunities and increased learning for our students. The Community Service Fund, the way we support our own volunteers in the Cambridge-Boston area, is unique among universities, and we try to support any program that has MIT volunteers. With many people making small contributions, we can make major differences," he said.

MIT employees may contribute via payroll deduction, check or credit card to the MIT Community Service Fund (CSF), the United Way of Massachusetts Bay (UWMB), specific charities of their choice, or any combination. The CSF aids local programs such as Just a Start; Shelter, Inc.; and CASPAR, where MIT students, faculty and staff volunteer. UWMB partners with 200 human-service agencies in greater Boston. For more information, see

A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on October 29, 2003.

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