The university’s Good Neighbors Campaign, USC’s annual employee-giving initiative organized by Civic Engagement, is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year with a $2 million fundraising effort to support key university-community partnership programs.

Carolina Castillo, executive director of development for USC Civic Engagement, said the campaign encourages staff, faculty and friends to help community organizations by promoting better health and educational opportunities in the areas surrounding both the Health Sciences and University Park campuses.

“It is an exciting time at USC as we celebrate the 20th anniversary of being a Good Neighbor to our local communities,” she said. “The Good Neighbors Campaign brings the Trojan family together to support efforts that are life-changing for students, staff, faculty, and community members.”

The 2014 Good Neighbors Campaign kicks off on Oct. 1 and runs through the end of the month.

Programs funded by the campaign — including USC Neighborhood Mobile Dental Clinic, HSC Health and Science Expo, USC Physical Therapy Fit Families Program, the USC Med-COR program, and the HSC Community Health and Wellness Fair — serve more 18,000 pre-k to high school students in HSC and UPC neighborhoods. This year, almost half of the 50 funded programs are those that serve the Health Sciences Campus community.

Castillo emphasized that 100% of every contribution goes to community organizations and schools and added, “Every member of the Trojan family can make a difference in the lives of children and families with a contribution of any amount.”

Begun in 1994, the USC Good Neighbors Campaign encourages USC faculty and staff to contribute a portion of their paychecks to support programs that help strengthen local communities through USC Neighborhood Outreach and United Way. Students, alumni and friends can also participate.

To date, the campaign has raised more than $17.7 million to support more than 600 community partnership programs.

For more information or to give online, visit

— By Jon Nalick