Hearts of Texas charitable campaign starts Oct. 1

Editor's note: The following is a message to the university community from Gregory J. Vincent, vice president for diversity and community engagement, and honorary chair of the 2008 Hearts of Texas Campaign.

There's no better or easier way to make a difference in the lives of the people and causes you care about than by contributing to the 2008 Hearts of Texas State Employee Charitable Campaign. Since 1996, the Hearts of Texas Campaign at the university has enabled members of the university community to come together to help those most in need and to make all of our contributions go further.

The campaign helps charities decrease their fundraising costs so they can focus on serving more people. It offers contributors a wide variety of options-from organizations working right here in Austin to those whose reach extends around the world-and it makes giving and record-keeping easy. As a university employee, you already provide a valuable service to our community, but through the Hearts of Texas Campaign, you can extend your service on a very personal level.

With more than 550 charities to choose from-all of which have been screened for efficiency and effectiveness-you can be confident that your generous contributions make a difference to those in need. From venerable national organizations like Meals on Wheels, The Special Olympics, or the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Fund to small and lesser known charities like the Austin Tenants' Council or Texas Folklife, you're sure to find a worthy cause that is especially near to your heart.

Please help continue the success of the Hearts of Texas Campaign by participating at any level. No donation amount is too small. The campaign runs Oct. 1-31. Visit the Hearts of Texas Web site for additional information or contact your departmental representative to finalize your Hearts of Texas contribution.

Give your heart: Give to the Hearts of Texas campaign!