Charities Benefit from Record Strong State Employee Charitable Campaign

State employees in Laredo have dug deep into their pockets this year to raise a record $94,460 as part of the annual State Employee Charitable Campaign (SECC), which benefits various charitable organizations in Laredo, the surrounding area and the State.

Approximately 30 state agencies and offices participate in the SECC campaign with 968 contributing employees combining their efforts to improve the quality of life for people in communities locally, across the state of Texas and around the world, explained Elizabeth N. Martínez, SECC co-chair and associate vice president for administration at Texas A&M International University, one of the SECC campaign leaders. Martínez' co-chair is Gloria Jackson, volunteer coordinator for Region I, Texas Department of Human Services.

"State employees in our area are setting an enviable precedent for charitable giving here. This year's campaign reflects a 22% increase in support over last year and we know that all groups that receive SECC donations are pleased with the Campaign's performance. All state employees are to be commended for their partnership and participation in the Campaign, " said Martínez.

Jackson explained that over 65% of SECC contributions remain in Laredo benefiting Laredo charities such as the United Way.

"This is clearly a big motivation for our state employees who want to make sure that their contributions are making a difference locally," noted Jackson.

Peggy García, United Way executive director, confirmed that the SECC support is vital to the United Way and its member service agencies.

"The SECC Division goal set by the United Way was $50,000 and total raised was 124% of the Division's goal. We continue to be impressed by the commitment of state employees and their charitable giving that benefits so many. We are indeed fortunate to have a strong SECC and leadership that is committed to its success," García said.

Martínez noted some dramatic growth within the campaign this year.

"For example, TAMIU has emerged as the largest participant in the SECC, with a 20.3% increase in giving this year that has resulted in a $37,284 contribution to the campaign," she said. "This is especially noteworthy as TAMIU employees, like many state employees, saw salary increases this year offset by large increases in insurance premiums. Despite this, TAMIU employees and state employees in general continue to give back to their communities," she added.

She said each agency benefits from the dedicated efforts of assigned SECC committee members and on-site coordinators.

"These folks are the backbone of the effort. At TAMIU, we have the strong partnership of Mary Treviño, associate vice president for academic affairs and Pat Martinez, executive secretary, who have helped to lead our successful efforts," she explained.

Other state agencies that saw an increase in their SECC donations included the Department of Protective and Regulatory Services, Laredo Community College, the Texas Department of Transportation, Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, Texas Workforce Commission, the Department of Public Safety and the Department of Human Services.

Martínez extended her appreciation to the local SECC Committee members including Ray Cortéz, LCC; Jose García and Dr. Juan Lira, TAMIU; Salvador Mercado and Lourdes de la Garza, TxDOT: Jaime Arizpe, Texas Department of Health and Human Services; Grace Lara, Texas Department of Public Safety and Jerry Pinzon, Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.

For more information about the SECC campaign, contact Elizabeth Martínez at 326.2380, visit offices in Killam Library 269 or email

Journalists who need additional information or help with media requests and interviews should contact the Office of Public Affairs and Information Services at