Why They Give Back

Duke staff and faculty explain why they contribute to Duke’s employee giving campaign

Whether it’s setting a positive example for their children or supporting local nonprofits, Duke employees have strong reasons why they give to Doing Good in the Neighborhood, Duke’s annual employee giving campaign.

Entering the campaign’s fifth week, 1,288 employees have donated to Doing Good in the Neighborhood’s six giving categories. Employees can donate to “Duke Community Giving,” in which they can direct their contribution to Health, Neighborhoods, Schools, Youth Empowerment, or the Community Care Fund, which provides competitive grants to diverse nonprofits. Employees can also choose to give directly to the United Way of the Greater Triangle. Organizers hope to beat the employee participation goal of 3,700 when the campaign ends Nov. 18.

Here’s why these six Duke staff and faculty members contribute:

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“As a working mother and first-generation college graduate from a minority family, it’s imperative to me that my two children understand they control their destiny. Knowledge is power. I want my children to see the importance of counting our family’s blessings and giving back to our community. Children deserve to understand their full potential in the world, and in order to reach their dreams, it’s essential that they have accessibility to all possible resources.”

Angela Georgallis
Associate director of research, Office of Prospect Research, Management and Analytics, University Development
Gives to Youth Empowerment

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“The Community Care Fund is one that supports a number of different organizations throughout our community. All those organizations are either working to alleviate poverty, dealing with food security issues or working on environmental sustainability, and all these things are kind of important to me. Even if some of us can only give a little bit, when we get together as a group, we can accomplish a lot more. There’s a children’s story that my kids enjoy and it’s a silly story about some beavers who ended up alone in a boat on the ocean and had to figure out what to do, and they all worked together. And so in the end, it was, ‘When we all work together, we accomplish a lot more.’”

Alison Eagle
Research and policy associate, Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions
Gives to the Community Care Fund  

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“I didn’t grow up with a lot as a kid, so for me, just to give back in any way possible, I want to contribute in some way or another. It doesn’t have to be a huge amount to make a difference.  Just being involved in health care as an athletic trainer, giving to the health category is important, especially nowadays when there’s a national obesity epidemic and we’re just trying to encourage kids to eat healthy.”

Aldo Plata
Assistant athletic trainer, Duke Baseball
Gives to Health

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“I think education makes a big difference to the trajectory of life in general. When we take care of patients, we impact a small section of society in a small way, but that impact is bigger if you can provide education in life much earlier on. We teach patients, students and residents all the time. We are educators in many ways, and often that’s not in the classroom. Often it’s more with patients at their bedside. We see education as an important piece of health as well. We give back to the community if we can give back to the education system.”

Dr. Kadiyala Ravindra
Abdominal transplant surgeon
Associate professor of surgery, Duke School of Medicine
Gives to Schools

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“I have some people in my life who have received support from organizations that benefit from the United Way. I had a brother who was intellectually disabled and I could target my donation toward organizations that work with intellectually disabled people. I have friends whose parents have benefited from hospice, so I can target it toward hospice. This is a nice area to live in and I grew up in this area….  It’s an interesting and useful way to say ‘thank you’ to the community and the folks who make this a good place to live.”

Winston Atkins
Preservation officer, Duke University Libraries
Gives to United Way of the Greater Triangle

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“I’ve always wanted to give to the community somehow and never knew how to do it. When I saw this, I thought it was an opportunity to do a little bit, and as a Christian, I believe that this is something that we are supposed to do. I live about 15 minutes away from work. This is where I live and this is my environment. At the time, when I first started giving, I was thinking I may have kids one day, and I wanted their environment to be safe and have places where kids can go and feel safe…Somewhere for kids to be a kid.”

Mica Luster
Patient account associate, Patient Revenue Management Organization
Gives to Neighborhoods