Choose to Give follies


    Over and over again, your staff has neglected to research the origins and ownership of the “Choose to Give” program. I will make it easy for them. It is not a part of BYUSA – it never has been, and as far as I know, it never will be.

    “Choose to Give” is a student-run campaign funded by the Annual Giving Department.

    Although “Choose to Give” values its partnerships with many organizations including BYUSA, SAA, colleges and campus clubs, it operates and plans independently of them. “Choose to Give” appreciates and values the relationships it has with these organizations and the staff and students that work with them. “Choose to Give” especially appreciates BYUSA’s generosity in offering up space in the Student Leadership offices in 3400 during the week of the campaign, as “Choose to Give” does not have an office.

    In your Wednesday article, your staff writer depicted the BYUSA student leaders in “Choose to Give” and “Friday Night Live” T-shirts. “Choose to Give” has many volunteers in many organizations, including BYUSA, so I do not question the integrity of the article; however, I find the implications made in the article extremely offensive. I am insulted that you would group “Choose to Give” with any frustrations clubs have with BYUSA.

    As a past chair of “Choose to Give” and volunteer of three years, I have had nothing but positive interactions with club presidents and club members. We have always had a student dedicated to working with clubs and finding creative and valuable ways to create events and publicity for both the “Choose to Give” campaign and the individual clubs. Our mother organization, the Annual Giving Department, begins working with clubs in September to help them write letters to receive fundraising – which many of them do to lessen the club membership fees or to help fund club activities and events. We at “Choose to Give” have limited interactions with clubs, but what interaction we do have has been extremely important to the success of our campaign. We are very happy to work with clubs, and we have had only positive feedback from them – every year we partner with more and more BYUSA and departmental clubs to create fun and exciting events.

    I wish BYUSA and campus clubs the best of luck in working through their challenges and difficulties. However, in your future “series of examining articles” on BYUSA, we at “Choose to Give” would appreciate it if you would keep in mind that we are not a BYUSA program and request that you please communicate with us before your write or imply ambiguities.

    Karren Thomas

    Los Gatos, Calif.

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