Tony Jenkins remembers growing up poor in the 1970s. When school was out during the summer, he couldn’t rely on free school lunches for his next meal. Meals On Wheels would visit his Durham community center, where volunteers fed Jenkins and other children hamburgers and corn dogs. Now, as assistant building manager at Duke’s Fuqua School of Business, Jenkins is helping organizations that helped him. As a “campaign champion” for Doing Good in the Neighborhood, Duke’s annual giving campaign, Jenkins helps connect Fuqua colleagues with ways they can donate to Durham organizations and the United Way.“We have to give back,” said Jenkins, 53. “Sometimes we can get in our office and shut the door and do our job, and then go home. If everybody takes even one step to give back, we’ll all be in a better place.”
Duke employees can contribute money or time during Duke’s annual Doing Good in the Neighborhood campaign, which begins Oct. 13 and runs through Nov. 21.Donors can donate to the United Way of the Greater Triangle or through the Duke Community Giving program, in which donations are funneled into different categories in Durham: Schools, Neighborhoods, Young People, Health or the Community Care Fund, which awards competitive grants to local nonprofits.During the 2013-14 “Doing Good in the Neighborhood” campaign, about $663,650 was raised from 1,300 donors, a 26 percent increase in participants from the year before.With $20, the Durham Literacy Center can purchase teaching materials for a local parent seeking to improve his or her English-language skills, or Book Harvest can provide a backpack filled with books to a local student, according to the Duke Office of Durham and Regional Affairs, which runs the campaign.Read More
With $100, the Diaper Bank of North Carolina is able to provide a month's supply of new diapers for a child living in poverty, or Meals On Wheels of Durham can feed one homebound senior for an entire month.
Faculty and staff can donate through payroll deduction, and this year, the campaign is helping link Duke departments to in-person volunteer opportunities.“It’s truly about giving back together to the community,” said Lindsey Naylor, senior program coordinator with Duke’s Office of Durham and Regional Affairs. “We think it’s a natural extension that employees can not only give their money, which really does make a greater impact when we give together, but also give their time.”At Fuqua School of Business last year, Jenkins and fellow campaign champion Jill Tomlinson, Fuqua’s associate dean for finance and administration, invited community members who benefit from the campaign to visit the school, to include Jenkins’ sister, Pat James, who runs a softball program for inner city youth called the Long Ball Program. They also showed videos about how Doing Good donations make a difference, such as acquiring laundry detergent for a local homeless shelter. The number of Fuqua donors tripled last year, and Fuqua increased its monetary donations by 76 percent. “Every little bit helps, and we can make a huge difference in a lot of people’s lives with our pooled contributions,” Tomlinson said.
To make a donation or to get involved, visit doinggood.duke.edu.