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State employees donate $588K through annual charitable campaign

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — The Office of Administration (OA) Missouri State Employees Charitable Campaign raised more than $588,350 in donations in 2021, the state agency reported this week. 

The annual effort allows state employees to make donations to their favorite charities through payroll deductions or a one-time gift. More than 2,620 employees participated this year and 502 charities received pledges, according to OA. 

This was the 37th iteration of the campaign with more than $34 million raised overall. 

“It is heart-warming to see how deeply Missouri state team members will reach into their own pockets to help those in need,” OA Acting Commissioner Ken Zellers said in a statement. “Their generous contributions and dedication to this year’s theme of ‘Building a Brighter Future’ will ensure these charitable organizations are able to lift up those in need throughout our communities.”

This year saw participants from the Department of Higher Education and Workforce Development pledge 60 percent more than they did in 2020, reaching its highest annual total in the campaign’s history. The Department of Conservation also doubled its totals from 2020.

Out of the 28 state departments, 10 bested their pledge totals from last year. The average donation increased for the eighth year in a row by $10. 

The Food Bank for Central & Northeast Missouri received the most donations this year with nearly $30,000 pledged. 

“This level of generosity our state team members have shown only reinforces what we already know, Missouri has some of the best of the best,” Gov. Mike Parson said. “Our team members’ commitment to this state and to the people of this state inspires us every day, and we are proud that so many have chosen to support some of our most vulnerable citizens through their own contributions, especially during the holiday season.”

The program was organized by OA as well as an executive and steering committee composed of representatives from each department and local officials. Financial services were handled by the Central Bank of Jefferson City. 

Last year saw nearly $630,000 raised. 

Donations have exceeded $1 million in 18 of the program’s 37 years.