Grow Together

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Why Do You Give?

These stories are a glimpse as to why employees give through Grow Together.


Karen Mainess

For Karen Mainess, PhD, assistant professor in the department of communication sciences and disorders at Loma Linda University School of Allied Health Professions, giving to the Grow Together Employee Giving Program helps her counteract the one thing she doesn’t like about working at the school.

“The worst thing is the lack of scholarship funds for deserving students,” Mainess observes. “It is my dream to have, within our department, the funds to provide at least two full scholarships to deserving students every year. The first step toward that dream is for me to give, myself.”

Mainess has been giving back since she arrived on campus 15 years ago. At the rate of $600 per year, or $50 per month, she has managed to give a grand total of $9,000 toward her goal of establishing the scholarship fund she envisions. She explains the need for it in straightforward terms.

“We have no problem filling the master’s of science program, for which I am the program director, every year,” she says. “There are always students who are interested in our program because they recognize, based on what they read about us, that we have a quality program. These are strong students academically and we offer them admittance into our program. But when they find out there are no scholarship funds available, they are very quickly offered those sought-after funds in other programs, and they go elsewhere.”

Even though the $9,000 she has given is nowhere near the $1 million in reserve funds Mainess estimates would be required to fund one or two scholarships, she is not discouraged in the least. She believes in making a start and hopes her example might encourage others to give as well. “It would be wonderful if that happened,” she notes.

In her off-duty hours, Mainess enjoys listening to music—“anything Motown from the 60s and 70s”—and reading. Most of the time, she reads technical research publications relating to her profession, but once or twice a year she likes to clear her head by reading a good whodunit novel. She also likes spending time with her pet, Frieda, the three-legged wonder cat.

“She’s mostly white with some apricot or blonde” Mainess offers. “A long-haired, domestic cat. She was a stray cat in the neighborhood and I took her in. Which was crazy, because I’m a dog lover. We got to be friends. When she got injured, I took her to the veterinarian and I ended up paying for her to have her leg amputated. After that, she was truly mine.

“The best things about working at Loma Linda University are the Christian environment here,” Mainess concludes, “and the students. I really love the students.”


Rodney Roath

Rodney Roath, MBA, is one busy man.

By day, Roath manages the laboratory education cost center at Loma Linda University Medical Center and chairs the clinical laboratory sciences department at Loma Linda University School of Allied Health Professions. Chairing the department involves both teaching and managing courses in clinical laboratory science, cytology and phlebotomy. By night and on weekends, Roath juggles studying for a PhD in higher educational administration from Claremont Graduate University and keeping up with family activities.

So when he heard that employees who want to support a favorite cause by payroll deduction through the Grow Together Employee Giving Program, it sounded like a great idea, especially since it wouldn’t take very much of his precious time.

“I’ve had a payroll deduction for the United Way since the early 1980s,” Roath shares. “I started with that when I first graduated and started working full-time.”

Three years ago, Roath decided to transition his monthly giving to Grow Together. “I wanted to update my giving to keep it within the institution,” he says.

When it came time to pick the specific program he wanted to support through his monthly gift, Roath designated a clinical laboratory science student scholarship fund at the School of Allied Health.

“I was impressed that we should do our part to help,” he recalls, noting that participating in Grow Together allows employees to demonstrate their faith in the organization’s mission and vision for the future.

“My opinion is that it’s not about the money, because most employees can’t afford to give a lot,” Roath observes, “but the engagement is really important. It’s rewarding to feel like you’re part of something and it’s beneficial to the institution to know that the employees feel that way.”

Roath comes from what he describes as “a real Loma Linda family.

“My wife and I have two grown sons,” he shares, “who are both alumni of Loma Linda. In fact, my wife and I and both of our fathers and our kids are all alumni from different LLU programs.”

“Over the last few months, I have been lucky enough to meet various employees who, like Rodney Roath, participate in Grow Together,” West informs. “Many of us do not view our gifts as giving to our employer, but giving through our employer to support something we believe in. Individually, our gifts might be small, but collectively, they can make a big impact. As someone who grew up in Loma Linda, I am excited to participate in the campaign and see the changes it will bring to the community.”

As for Roath, he’s looking forward to relaxing a little bit when he finishes up the doctoral program.

“I want to take a vacation,” he notes, “catch up on things around the house and spend time with the family. It’s been way too long since I had a vacation!”


What inspires you to give? How have you been impacted by Grow Together? Share your story today to inspire others!


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