FORSCOM kicks off CFC campaign
September 26, 2008
U.S. Army Forces Command (FORSCOM) kicked off its rally for the 2008 Combined Federal Campaign (CFC) Sept. 18 at its headquarters.
This year's CFC theme is "Changing Lives, One Gift at a Time."
"We are blessed. We are extremely blessed in this great country, and to those who much is given, much is expected," said the event's keynote speaker, Lt. Gen. Joseph F. Peterson, FORSCOM's deputy commanding general and chief of staff. "By giving, you can make a change in someone's life. That's a pretty powerful thing. It's about giving back."
CFC key workers served complementary bags of popcorn as staff members and guests mingled and the Army Ground Forces Band's Dixieland Band ensemble played upbeat tunes in FORSCOM G-1's red-white-and-blue-balloon-decorated atrium.
"Last year FORSCOM raised more than $153,000 and we raised $530,000 overall in Division 2," said Mike Chapman, CFC Atlanta area Division 2 coordinator. There are 15 military organizations in the division, including FORSCOM, U.S. Army Central, U.S. Army Reserve Command; First Army and U.S. Army Garrison. Chapman, a retired FORSCOM civilian employee, is back for 90 days to head the local campaign.
This is his 15th year working for CFC, even though he retired in 2005.
"Since the first year that I worked with the CFC, I have felt it an honor and privilege to work on behalf of others," said Chapman. "It is my responsibility to help those who have not been as fortunate as I."
Representatives from 12 Atlanta-area agencies that receive CFC contributions were present.
Tiffany Russell, a development associate with Covenant House - Georgia, explained her organization's mission.
"Covenant House is a teenage homeless shelter in Atlanta that services youths ages 16 through 21. Youth may stay up to 60 days in the shelter. We also have a transitional living program, where they can stay in apartments for up to five years," Russell said. "We are five minutes away from Fort McPherson on Lakewood Avenue. It would be awesome to have a partnership with Soldiers here since 50 percent of our youths are males who need strong male role models," she said. Covenant House also welcomes women who wish to volunteer, she said.
Kym Benjamin, director of volunteer services for Ronald McDonald House Charities - Atlanta, said, "We provide transitional housing for children and their families, while a child receives medical treatment at one of the local hospitals in Atlanta," she said. "We have two houses here - one with 50 bedrooms and the other with 11 bedrooms. We turned away more than 500 families last year, so there is definitely a need for more rooms."
Canine Assistants, one of two agencies that brought dogs to promote its program, provides service dogs for children and adults with physical disabilities or other special needs.
The other agency that brought dogs to promote its program, Briarcliff Animal Foundation (BAF), provides medical treatment, rehabilitation and adoption of stray animals in metro Atlanta. Judy Griffin, a volunteer with BAF, said 100 percent of money raised goes to [caring for] the animals.
"We are an all-volunteer organization. There are no salaries and no administrative fees," she said. "This year, most charities' donations are down." However, despite the dwindling donations, "we're full to the gills (with animals)," said Griffin. "People are turning in their pets in record numbers because they can't afford to feed them."
CFC runs through Nov. 7. FORSCOM Soldiers and Civilian workers may make contributions through the key workers assigned to each of the command's offices or divisions.
For more information about CFC, call Chapman at 464-6323 or visit the CFC Web site at www.opm.gov/cfc.