GeoCare Fund brings employees together

Lakeidra Chavis/Sun Star Reporter
April 10, 2012

Life is unpredictable. Sudden deaths in the family, natural disasters or unforeseen health issues can devastate a person’s life, without time or money to cover the financial burden. The Geophysical Institute’s GeoCare Fund helps employees pay for the unpredictable.

Created in November 1998, The GeoCare Fund is a monetary award provided by the Geophysical Institute and the International Arctic Research Center. The fund is given to GI and IARC employees who need financial assistance due to a personal crisis that is not covered by insurance. The amount awarded to each recipient is no more than $1,000.

For a GI or IARC employee to receive the fund, his or her supervisor or co-worker sends a letter of request to the GeoCare Fund committee. The committee discusses what the employee’s needs are and what type of fundraiser or monetary support should be given.

“I can’t say that it necessarily brings people closer, but when employees are in a time of need, they’re definitely extremely appreciative,” said Cox, who is the executive officer of IARC and co-chair of the GeoCare Fund committee.

Joanna Cruzan, Kim Cox and Doug Christensen currently serve on the GeoCare Fund committee.

“Typically, the committee is comprised of one faculty member, one from the GI Administration, a non-administration staff employee, one staff member through IARC and one classified employee. All members of the committee must be permanent employees of GI/IARC,” committee co-chair Cruzan said in an email.

The public provides most of the money for the fund. In the past, bake sales, silent basket auctions and requests through payroll deductions have been used to raise money for the fund.

“Without a doubt, the silent auction brings in the most money,” Cruzan said. This year, the silent auction was held in the Elvey Globe room in the C.T. Elvey Building.

“I’ve seen employees that have benefited from the program and they’re extremely grateful,” Cox said. “We’ve had employees that have benefited and then have turned around when they were able to, have given back to the program.”

The committee allocates the money to about two or three employees a year. However, the amount of actual applicants for the fund varies from year to year.

“There’s been years when we’ve almost depleted our available funds, because it would be a high impact year” Cox said. “Then there’s been years when we’ve had very little applications.”

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