Kroger Community Rewards
The Employee Critical Support Fund, previously called the Employee Hardship Fund, was established in 1994 to financially assist Vanderbilt faculty and staff who are experiencing a non-recurring sudden or emergency-related financial hardship due to an unforeseen or unavoidable event. The fund was renamed to better convey its purpose – to give employees peace of mind in a time of uncertainty and demonstrate the power and values of the Vanderbilt community. An award is intended to be a major step for the employee in the return to financial stability. The Employee Critical Support Fund program is not designed to address ongoing financial challenges and is not a loan that requires the funds to be reimbursed. The program is administered through the Office of Health & Wellness.
The Kroger Community Rewards Program is an easy way to contribute to the Fund. Under the system, shoppers register their Kroger discount cards online and choose a favorite charity from a list of local nonprofits that Kroger has agreed to help fund. Kroger then tracks all of the cardholder's purchases (excluding alcohol, tobacco, and gasoline) with every dollar counting as a vote for the shopper's preferred organization. Shoppers do not sacrifice any in-store discounts or gas points that they would ordinarily earn on their Kroger card — the charitable component is a separate feature.
To register, have your Kroger Plus card handy and follow the instructions below. If you do not have a card, pick one up at the customer service desk of any Kroger.
- Go to Kroger.com and sign in or register in the upper right corner of the page.
- Click on "My Account".
- Scroll down to the Community Rewards section and enroll.
- Search for and select Vanderbilt Employee Critical Support Fund (organization KR662).
- When you are done, Vanderbilt should appear under the community rewards section of your account summary.
Remember, you must swipe your registered Kroger Plus card or use the phone number associated with your account when checking out at the store for your purchase to count.
NOTE: Donations to the general use Hardship Fund are not considered to be tax-deductible charitable contributions according to IRS guidelines, but you may consult with your tax adviser.