Why I Give

Unsure about whether or not to give to the SEFA campaign? Below, some of our weekly incentive winners share their thoughts on why they pledged or donated to this year's SEFA campaign. 

Matt Brooks holding Visa gift card

SEFA makes contributing to charity extremely easy to do, and allows me to choose charities that mean something personally to me (such as animal-related).  I'm glad to support the SEFA campaign and groups that can really use the support in these challenging times!

Headshot of Julie Pretzat Merchant

I contribute to the SEFA campaign because it means a lot to me to give back to the communities in which I live and work. I appreciate the ability to choose the charities to give money to, and doing it by payroll deduction is so simple and pain-free. This time of the year, and especially in the midst of this pandmenic, I find it very meaningful to share with those less fortunate than I.

Lisa Evaneski holding gift certificate

I give because I can see the impact my donation can make in our community. My donation is going to Services to Aid Families/OCO that supports members of our greater Oswego County who have survived sexual and interpersonal violence.

Headshot of Kristen Haynes

In grad school, I learned of a fellow student who was giving close to 10% of his annual income to charity. I was shocked and humbled. At the time, I was saving every penny of my small salary for myself. He made made me realize that no matter how large or small our salary, we can still make a difference, and inspired me to start giving.

2021 Incentive Winners

Headshot of Christy Huynh

I give because I believe in our community and want to support the organizations that provide vital services that help our community.

Headshot of Angela Galvin

I support SEFA and the United Way of Greater Oswego County because, at some point, almost everyone will need a helping hand. Whether it's food insecurity, improving the quality of life for youth and families, support services for the elderly, advocating for the disabled, or providing drug treatment services, SEFA/United Way agencies are on the front lines every day. Their work improves the quality of life in Oswego County, and I am happy to play a small part in those efforts through my financial support.

Headshot of Emily Estrada

I give because I can. Throughout my life, I have been the benefactor of intersecting privileges that have, in part, enabled me to have a certain amount of discretionary money in my monthly budget. Due to the impact of these unearned assets on my life, the least I can do is give back to my community through SEFA.

Headshot of Karen Wolford

It is so critically important to support our community agencies, especially as we struggle through pulling out of the current pandemic. Recovery to pre-pandemic levels can take some time so the more that can help in this cause the better.

Headshot of Chad Whelsky

I know my contributions make a positive impact on the health and well-being of county residents through the support provided to local not-for-profits by the United Way. Through my donations, organizations like Oswego County Opportunities, the Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP), and others are able to provide critical services to those who are working to overcome life's challenges. I'm grateful for the chance to give back to my community and encourage others to do the same.

Past Incentive Winners


Headshot of Bob Hageny

It has always been important to me to give to organizations in our community who help those in need. Through SEFA, I can choose amongst dozens of charities and give money through payroll deduction or a one-time donation. In giving through SEFA, I know how my gift is used in improving the lives of others.

headshot of Irene Scruton

Thank you SEFA for giving me the opportunity to share the blessings we have by giving back to those in great need. This year especially, giving through SEFA felt more important than ever to help our community.

Suzanne Maniccia headshot

I support SEFA because it is a convenient way for me to give to those organizations and causes that I want to support, both locally and nationally.

Headshot of Cathy Johnston

I learned at a very young age from both my parents what it means to be a part of a community.  This meant helping at fundraisers, coaching Little League when there weren’t enough parents to coach, or contributing time or money when it was needed.  I give because it is part of who I am.

Headshot of Mitch Galvin

I donate to the SEFA campaign because I believe it’s important to give back to your community, especially programs that support youth and young adults. The United Way supports youth mentoring, provides services for homeless youth, and sponsors other programs that help youth succeed and achieve.


headshot of Mary Tone Rodgers

You can't change the world with one gift, but one gift could change the world for one person.

Barbara St. Michel headshot

I give through SEFA because I can select the charities I believe in. I chose to help my local community through the United Way of Great Oswego County.

Mark Mirabito – Psychology Dept - headshot

The United Way supports many, many worthwhile programs, including those that provide assistance to the less fortunate members of our own community. I am happy to contribute to this worthy cause.

Mary Pryor – Division of Extended Learning - headshot

I support the SEFA campaign because I believe we have a responsibility to care for other people and to help those less fortunate than ourselves. Donating to charity is the perfect opportunity to do that and help make a difference in this world we all share.

Christina Dickerson – School of Education - headshot

I support the SEFA campaign because with my donation twenty trees can be planted, offsetting 20 tons of carbon dioxide emissions!


Amanda Fenlon headshot

Thank you SEFA! I support SEFA because SEFA supports my neighbors and my community! Please consider an additional donation in this time of need.  LOVE wins!

Mohammad Tajvarpour headshot

I support SEFA because together we are all stronger!

Rebecca Kempney headshot

My family supports SEFA because we like to give back to those who have had the misfortune to fall on hard times or just need a little help to get by. I designate my pledge to the Children’s Center to ensure their services are available for those who need it.

Jan Woodworth headshot

I give to SEFA because with payroll deduction it is an easy way to support the charitable organizations that I choose over the course of a year.