Welcome to the VEBF October newsletter!
October is the official beginning of the annual fundraising drive for the Village Employees Benefit Fund. Everything the Board does throughout the year is dedicated to the success of this effort in October and November. Our goal is to have as many donations as possible in the bank by the end of November, so we can distribute your cash appreciation gifts to eligible employees on December 8 (the tentative date for the annual POA employee Christmas luncheon this year).
Here’s what our fundraising campaign consists of:
- The donor request letter with return envelope, mailed to every Hot Springs Village address during the first week of October.
Print advertising in the HSV Life magazine in October and November, also mailed to every Village address, and one ad donated by the publisher in the Hot Springs Village Voice.
Radio advertising on KVRE with 60 thirty-second spots (half of which are donated by the management).
Remind Villagers (in the letter and media advertising) they can donate through the secure credit card link on our website, www.vebf.org.
When I refer to “eligible employees”, the VEBF defines that as full-time or part-time hourly employees up to wage level 10 on a 22-level pay scale. Starting pay for POA full-time hourly employees is now $14 an hour, just a few dollars higher than Arkansas minimum wage (which is $11 an hour). The vast majority of VEBF gift recipients earn less than $18 an hour.
The number of full- and part-time employees eligible to receive the cash appreciation gift varies from year to year between 350 and 400. For the past two years, the VEBF has been able to provide gifts of $300 to full-time employees, and $150 to part-time employees, while maintaining reserve accounts for the Emergency Fund, Scholarship Fund, and operating expenses (which average only around 10% of donations).
For many of these employees, your cash appreciation gift makes the difference between being able to pay all their December bills on time…or not or having a nice Christmas for their children…or not.
And I’ve been curious about whether the VEBF should impose an upper limit on the amount of the cash appreciation gift. I know our former president and current vice president, DC Reed, says “No! The more we raise, the more we can give the employees!” Our General Manager, Kelley Hale, told me the same thing a couple of weeks ago. He’d love it if we could give $1000 to each full-time employee, and $500 to part-timers. And he said if everyone in the Village would donate even just $5 a month, that would be an easy goal to achieve. He also sees the cash appreciation gifts as a recruiting and employee retention benefit, even though, as you know, we are not affiliated with the POA.
In closing for this month, I would ask you to consider saying to your friends and neighbors in the Village, “I hope you’re donating to the Village Employees Benefit Fund, to personally recognize and say thanks to our hourly workers.”
And remember: “Nothing happens in Hot Springs Village…until a POA employee comes to work.”
Again, thank you for your support (and please consider making your donation soon, by using the secure credit card link on our website. Save a stamp)!
Thank you for your support!
John Chapman - President, VEBF