Mt Hood staff donate thousands to student programs

Mt. Hood’s instructors and employees are close to a new milestone in fundraising to help students, with nearly $50,000 in donations pledged for 2017-18.

Started in 1968, the Be Cause Of You Foundation is a staff donation program at MHCC. Teachers and other workers can choose to donate to any of numerous different school program funds and scholarships.

From an adult basic skills fund to a visual arts program fund, all benefit Mt. Hood students.

‘The Foundation’s purpose is to raise funds for student scholarships and classroom equipment. Our main purpose is to be the nonprofit that supports the college,” said Al Sigala, executive director of the MHCC Foundation since 2014.

“We do fundraising in various ways; one of those ways is by asking our employees to donate, to give back, even though they’re doing a lot anyway,” Sigala said. “This is another way that staff can help students and improve their programs, by giving through (a) payroll deduction.”

Employees have been encouraged to sign up during a kickoff lunch. Sigala said the foundation usually finds a sponsor to provide lunch for the event, during which employees are encouraged to sign up to begin monthly giving plans, to continue giving, or to increase their monthly giving.

“We also give away prizes just to make it fun,” said Sigala. “We had a donor that donated a $500 gift card to Skamania Lodge so one of our lucky staff members will get to have a mini-vacation.”

As of this week, this year’s fundraiser has brought in $46,500. That’s up from around $37,000 last year, Sigala said – and just shy of the $50,000 goal he set.

“Our employees have stepped up big time. Some people are giving $5 a month, and some people are giving as much as $100 a month,” he said.

More details on donating to the Be Cause of You Foundation is available at

On the website, faculty and staff can donate a one-time, tax-deductible gift, or sign up to have a chosen amount deducted from their paycheck. Staff members can choose any program from the list provided, or they can choose to designate a gift to the greatest need.

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