Story by Don Chaddock, Inside CDCR editor
Photos by Allie Powell, OPEC

Dozens of non-profit organizations converged on the steps of the Capitol Aug. 27 to educate state workers during the Our Promise charity drive kick-off.

The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation is one of many state organizations taking part in the giving campaign.

Evie Kerns, development and marketing coordinator for United Cerebral Palsy of Sacramento and Northern California, said the kick-off event is a great tool for the charities.

“One of the things we’ve enjoyed about this event is everybody’s enthusiasm – from the event coordinators to the employees stopping by,” she said. “People want to know more about us and how they can get involved.”

Isela Murrieta, training coordinator with the Child Abuse Prevention Center, said the event is a great way to highlight the organizations.

“For us, it’s an honor to be part of the campaign,” she said. “It helps as far as donations we receive to serve the community.”

On hand were charities ranging from the Firefighters Burn Institute to the Pacific Crest Trail Association.

“We feel it is so important for us to be here and share our mission with the state employees and let them know how important they are to what we do,” said Kimberly Cox, membership assistant at Fairy Tale Town in Sacramento.

Richard Fujinami, a volunteer with the Head Trauma Support Project, said his group usually has a booth at the kick-off every year.

“Our organization is all-volunteer, so the Our Promise campaign is really important,” he said. “I enjoy coming out and talking to the state employees.”

Jody Dahms, volunteer manager with Make-A-Wish Northern California and Northern Nevada, dressed in a star costume to pose for photos with attendees.

“This is a fabulous event and allows us to connect with state workers and United Way is a wonderful partner to us,” Dahms said.

This year, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation’s campaign is chaired by the Office of Public and Employee Communications (OPEC).  Volunteer recruitment is underway.

If you are interested in volunteering or would like to learn more about this year’s campaign, contact Albert Rivas, Department Chair, at or Kristiana Butler, Vice Chair, at; or visit

The Our Promise campaign was established in 1957 to provide a single charitable fundraising drive for the California state employee community. The campaign is rooted in the California legislature and is administered by the Victim’s Compensation and Government Claims Board.

California Government Code, Section 13923, requires every employee receive an approved list of charitable organizations, a payroll deduction form, and a designation form. It also allows for payroll deduction for an annual charitable fund drive.

During the fall, each state employee is given a payroll deduction pledge form and a donor resource guide with participating charitable organizations.  Employees may donate to a registered 501(c)3 nonprofit.

Any organization not listed in the donor resource guide may receive an employee contribution by completing the Write-In Organization section of the pledge form. Payroll deduction donations start for as little as $5 per month.