Sac State employees give back to local charities

Sac State donated $63,000, more than any other CSU campus


Courtesy of Don Nahhas

Dawn Nahhas (Left) and the Don Nahhas (right) of the Josh's Heart charity giving a presentation to Our Promise in the library on Monday, Sept. 17. The Josh's Heart charity is the top recipient of the donations from Sac State via the Our Promise campaign.

Rudy Obstaculo

Sacramento State donated more than $63,000 to local charities through the Our Promise campaign in 2017, more than any other California State University, according to University President Robert Nelsen.

According to their website, the Our Promise: California State Employees Giving at Work campaign is a statewide charitable giving operation where California employees are given the opportunity to participate in donating to a charity of their choice.

“Because we’re in the state capital, we know a lot more about not-for-profits and charitable needs, because so many of the not-for-profits are located centrally and Sacramento just has a tradition of giving, which is wonderful, and Sac State has continued this tradition,” said Amy Kautzman, dean and director for the University Library.

The campaign occurs every year from Sept. 1 to Oct. 31, but state employees can sign up, make changes or stop donating any time of the year, according to an email from Tabitha Angel, the director of Our Promise.

Kautzman is an administrator chosen to run the campaign for 2018. Jim Reinhart of University Enterprises, Inc. was chosen to run the 2017 campaign.

The administrator hands out documents to department heads to disperse to employees, giving them the opportunity to donate.

Donations are made with cash, check or through a payroll deduction, according to Angel.

“That’s a good thing also, because that means the charities know that for 12 months, they are guaranteed $10, $15, $20 out of every paycheck for the next 12 months, which allows them to plan their services better,” Kautzman said.

The donations go to any recognizable 501(c)(3) nonprofit charity the employee chooses, according to Kautzman.

The top recipient of the donations last year was Josh’s Heart, Inc., a charity created by Don and Dawn Nahhas in memory of their son.

“President Nelsen has been a huge support for us since day one, and he is the one that spread the word through Our Promise,” said Dawn, who works for the U.S. Geological Survey on campus. “We feel honored because we are a small nonprofit, and so any kind of help that we can get from the community is what keeps us going.”

Related: ‘Josh’s heart was so strong’

Josh’s Heart, Inc. is a nonprofit charity that helps out the homeless by giving backpacks filled with the essentials to survive being out on the streets.  

The charity is named in honor of their son, Josh Brent Moore, who died from complications of alcoholism.

“Our message and our goal is to show people out there that are homeless, that are addicted and that are suffering that they matter,” Nahhas said. “It’s also to show the community that everybody has a story, everyone is somebody’s someone and everybody matters.”

The Our Promise campaign at Sac State for 2018 ran from Sept. 10-28.

The goal for 2018 is to increase the participation rate by educating state employees about the benefits of the program and that they have an opportunity to give back to their community, according to Angel.