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from United Way of South Texas

State Employee Charitable Campaign (SECC) Recognizes State Agencies & Higher Education

April 1, 2024
Pictured L-R: Carmen Amaya, DPS; Gisenia Abad, OAG; Nina Barrientos, UTRGV; Valerie Gonzalez, TXDOT; Hope Noble, TDCJ Retiree; and Martha Zarate, STC.

United Way of South Texas hosted the State Employee Charitable Campaign (SECC) Recognition in March. The SECC is the only statutorily-authorized workplace campaign for State of Texas and Higher Education employees. United Way of South Texas has proudly served as the Rio Grande Valley SECC Local Campaign Manager (LCM) for 27 years, since 1996. State employees from dozens of agencies have volunteered in different roles to help United Way increase participation and donor investments in the RGV. Thousands have generously donated to ensure that local and statewide non-profit agencies deliver critical support to families who struggle to provide basic necessities; who are working towards gaining employment; seeking housing or shelter; survivors of domestic violence seeking mental health counseling and much more.

Top 2023 State Agency and Top Coordinator awards were presented at the event. The Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) was recognized as the state agency with the Highest Percent Increase. TDCJ employees had an outstanding 44 percent increase. The University of Texas–Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV) was acknowledged as the State Agency, or Higher Education Institution, with the Highest Contributions.

State of Texas employees volunteer to serve on the SECC Local Employee Committee (LEC). The 2023-2024 LEC members are: Carmen Amaya, Department of Public Safety;Hope Noble, TDCJ Retiree; Nina Barrientes, UTRGV; Valerie Gonzalez, Texas Department of Transportation; Georgina Marr, STC; Mary Ann Garcia, STC; Gisenia Abad, Texas Office of the Attorney General. The SECC LEC invites state employees to serve on volunteer committees throughout the year and is grateful to agency leadership for affording their employees the time to volunteer for extraordinary causes.

Employees from many state agencies contributed $94,617.27 in 2023. By giving through the SECC state, higher education and retired employees have funded food banks, shelters for domestic violence and displaced individuals, job training programs and countless other lifesaving programs. The agencies that participated are as follows: Texas Office of the Attorney General, Comptroller of Public Accounts, Texas Workforce Commission, Department of Public Safety, Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission, Health and Human Services Commission, Department of State Health Services, Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, Texas Department of Transportation, Texas Department of Criminal Justice, University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and South Texas College. If you represent a charity or state agency interested in participating in the SECC, please contact Sabrina Lopez at United Way of South Texas at 956-686-6331.