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Dr. Camille DeClementi '90 Extends 52 Weeks of Giving
02.15.13 |
Like most that come through veterinary school, Dr. Camille DeClementi ’90 accrued a lot of college debt between her undergraduate and graduate studies. In December 2011, she made her last loan payment and found herself with a bit of extra money each month. She felt the money’s best use would be in charitable donations, so she made them every week for the entirety of 2012.

Each week, DeClementi donated 50 dollars to a new charity and posted the charity’s name to her Facebook account with some of its history and a rating from Charity Navigator in the hopes that some of her family and friends might follow suit.

Outside of her work as a veterinarian, DeClementi volunteers with the ASPCA and has always made sporadic donations to causes in which she believes. With her amped up efforts in 2012, DeClementi was able to support a number of organizations close to her heart, while discovering new causes through online research.

“As a college student, I had scholarships at Lebanon Valley, so my college was mostly paid for,” DeClementi said. “I couldn’t have gone to a school like LVC without it. I recognized that somebody else paid money to help someone like me. It all made me want to give back when I was able.”

The charities supported during her year of giving included the Union of Concerned Scientists, The Nature Conservancy, the ARCS Foundation (Advancing Science in America), Heifer International, and of course, the ASPCA. To check each charity’s legitimacy, DeClementi uses Charity Navigator – a nonprofit company that researches how much of a company’s intake is used on the programs it advertises. Because of its nonprofit status, DeClementi gave to Charity Navigator, too.

“I’ve given to my local library, fire department, anything close to me emotionally,” she said. “I’d read a magazine and find charities that way. Anywhere you are, if you’re paying attention, you’re going to pick up information on charities that you can help.”

Additionally, DeClementi has donated back to LVC since 1991 and is committed to fund an annual scholarship of $10,000 paid over four years.

In 2013, DeClementi has vowed to continue to support the charities with which she has most deeply connected. Among them is one out of the University of Pennsylvania – the Penn Vet Working Dog Center. After earning her doctorate in veterinary medicine from Penn, DeClementi has remained close to the school. The center “serves as a national research and development center for detection dogs,” according to its website.

“One of the things we’ve found is that a lot of our working dogs have come from other countries,” DeClementi said. “Obviously, we’re not getting the best of the best because they keep them for themselves. This center is researching and teaching dogs to do all kinds of things from emergency response to bomb and drug sniffing dogs to working with people that have seizures.”

Her passions continue to drive DeClementi to give, and it is a tradition that she will carry on for the rest of her life. “It was important to find ways to donate my money, and I thought the best way to do that was to explore different opportunities. My experiences last year were a really nice way for me to learn about new places to give.”

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