Helping each other is the ‘right thing to do’

By Randy Hollowell, manager of IT communication and client advocacy and chair of UPAC (Unclassified Personnel Advisory Committee)

The idea of donating money to your place of business is a strange one for most industries. The few exceptions could be nonprofit organizations and agencies, places of worship, and educational institutions, such as Miami. I can’t imagine Microsoft or Nike asking their employees to donate back to their company, but maybe they do.

But we are different.

Because Miami is our employer, we may not think of it when we consider “charitable giving.” However, there are plenty of reasons why we should. And here are a few reasons why I do:

Giving is a very personal thing, and what is great about how the Miami development office has set up the donation site is that there are a bunch of different options that you can choose individually. In this case, I know exactly where my donation is going and how it is used.

I like to pick an area or project that I have had direct contact with. That way, I personally know the people who are positively impacted by my contribution. For me, in the past, that has included the Navy ROTC program, the women’s club hockey team, and various writing programs.

Another reason to give back to Miami is the fact that there is a real need. I know for a lot of us that became abundantly clear during the past two years. That’s where the Emergency Needs Fund comes in. It is a fund that helps support students during a critical time of need. Most of the individual colleges also have their own emergency needs fund that supports individuals within their communities, as well as an emergency fund specifically for international students.

As staff and faculty, we can also support our colleagues as well. For example, there is a custodian emergency fund, plus the Student Success Center Food Pantry Fund, which actually benefits the entire Miami and Oxford communities.

To me, giving is an expression of my thankfulness to the fact I have the ability to help. That has not always been the case. I know there have been many people who have helped me along the way, in a variety of ways. I can’t always “pay them back” directly, so to me, the next best thing is helping someone else. That just seems like the right thing to do.

Obviously, providing monetary donations to a group benefits that group, but it also makes me feel good. The knowledge that I am helping others, even in small ways, can be very empowering and uplifting. As well as the fact that since I am so closely connected to the recipients of my gifts, I have the opportunity to see their successes up close. And in every case, they have been so very appreciative. And that then gives me another wave of good vibes. I think we all can agree, that is something we can use right now.

As I noted earlier, giving back to my employer is a unique opportunity, something that I embrace and encourage others to deeply consider. We all have our own journey and are on a unique path. Even a little can go a long way — not only for the university and its community, but also for you as an individual giver.

To review the 2021 Faculty and Staff Campaign priorities and make a gift online, visit To make a gift via payroll deduction, visit If you prefer, send a check made out to the Miami University Foundation via campus mail to the Advancement Services Building, or call the Office of Annual Giving at 513-529-5229.

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