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Staff Council unveils new Staff Helping Staff program

April 04, 2013

Funeral expenses. Medical emergencies. When unexpected emergencies like these hit, many aren’t financially equipped to deal. In response to this need, the ASU Staff Council is unveiling a new program, facilitated by the Scholarship and Fundraising committee, called Staff Helping Staff.

Now, university employees experiencing financial hardship have the opportunity to submit an application for financial assistance. 

The Scholarship Committee is currently accepting applications for the program (due the 15th of each month). The committee reviews all current applications and distributes awards to chosen recipients based on their level of need and circumstance. Although funding is limited at this time, disbursements eventually will exceed the current $100 to $500 monetary value.

Staff Helping Staff has been in the works for some time, says Stephen Potter, current treasurer for the 2012-2013 Tempe/Skysong Staff Council. A fundraising initiative was originally implemented by former Staff Council member Linda Sawyer. In conjunction with the ASU Foundation, Sawyer and other council members were able to start raising funds for staff in need.

“I was very passionate about helping to develop the program after [a staff member] told me of a friend of hers who was suffering from a painful dental problem," Sawyer said. "The individual was a single mother and couldn't afford the co-pay to have the procedure she required. I had also heard that another staff member was having trouble affording a funeral for their family member.

"These are just a few of the many reasons why I wanted to be involved with the program.”

Sawyer credits her supervisors at the time, Thomas Walker and Pam Mulhearn, for their full support of the idea.

“They encouraged me to begin gathering support in moving Staff Helping Staff forward," she said. "I spent a great deal of time doing research on existing programs at other universities – drafting ideas and presenting the ideas in order to develop our own program at ASU. President Crow was very supportive and encouraged others to assist the Staff Council in moving the program forward.” 

With the passing of time and subsequent university and council member changes, fundraising efforts declined and the account became inactive. However, through the dedication and work of current members, Sawyer’s original vision has evolved into the Staff Helping Staff program. 

To increase the potential for additional funds, the Scholarship and Fundraising committees are developing various fundraising events and campaigns. One such effort – The Spare Change Campaign – will take place over numerous days throughout the year in multiple locations. During these times, staff and students on every campus will have the opportunity to drop their spare change into designated containers. These containers also will be available at all Staff Council functions to continue fundraising efforts.

Another fundraising event will coincide with ASU Staff Night at ASU Gammage’s presentation of Disney’s “The Lion King” at 7:30 p.m., Oct. 23. Participants will have the opportunity to not only purchase discounted tickets for this special performance, but also attend a pre-show reception and post-show tour backstage. All of the proceeds will be donated to the Staff Helping Staff program through the ASU Foundation.

Payroll deduction is an additional way to donate to the Staff Helping Staff program. Staff may designate a portion of their paycheck to deposit a gift amount, in any denomination, for any length of time. The process is very simple, efficient, and may be cancelled upon your choosing. The ASU Foundation will provide a gift receipt for tax purposes at the end of the participating year as well.

In addition to the new program, there are a variety of other scholarship opportunities available for employees on all four campuses, including SkySong. In particular, the programs are designed to provide ASU staff assistance in developing their careers. The funds can be applied towards professional conferences and workshops, or simply to help cover the costs of materials and educational expenses.

Applications and payroll deduction forms for all programs are available through the Staff Council Office, 480-965-0892, or by sending a request to For detailed information about these and other programs, visit the Staff Council website at