Make a World of Difference
Make a World of Difference

With the Combined Federal Campaign (CFC), the world's largest and most successful annual workplace charity campaign, underway until Dec. 15, it's a good opportunity to consider why 89 percent of American households give an average of $1,620 per year, according to Giving & Volunteering in the United States, an independent sector survey organization of American philanthropy.

In the spirit of CFC, it's also the one time this year to take the opportunity to help contact 100 percent of the federal workforce so they know that they can voluntarily participate in CFC, and closer to home, consider why do you, if you're among the 89 percent of Americans who do, give'

According to the National Philanthropic Trust, there five top reasons why Americans donate to philanthropic causes.

The first is that people are asked or given the opportunity. "Up to December 15, unit coordinators are contacting 100 percent of their unit personnel to let them know that they can voluntarily support one of over 2000 organizations participating in CFC. The e-Giving on the Overseas CFC webpage makes it easy," said U.S. Army Sgt. Michael Martin, a Military Police Soldier for the USAG Schinnen Emergency Services Division and the CFC coordinator there.

Pledges through CFC can be made by US federal civilian, postal and military donors during the campaign season to support eligible non-profit organizations that provide health and human service benefits throughout the world. The overseas campaign website, www.cfcoverseas.org, allows contributors to browse the CFC charity list, donate over 12 monthly or 26 bi-weekly pay periods, pay with a debit card or credit card, and receive an electronic copy of their tax deductable contribution - all at the click of a mouse. Hard-copy pledge forms can also be printed out and turned-in to your unit CFC coordinator.

So, up until Dec. 15, US federal civilian, postal and military personnel are being afforded the opportunity, leading us to the second and third reasons why people give: because they have a compassion for those in need or personally believe in the cause.

Compassion and belief can inspire some to climb a mountain - Mount Kilimanjaro to be specific! Retired U.S. Airmen Rob Kent and Mickel Head, both now working as civil servants for the Department of Defense in the Netherlands and who are both avid mountaineers, are going to climb Mount Kilimanjaro in February 2010 to raise awareness for "Homes for our Troops", an organization taking part in this year's CFC campaign.

"This organization builds tailor-made homes for wounded Veterans with injuries. We know some of these Veterans personally and we have compassion for their circumstances," Kent said. "They've made a webpage for our climb. It's called "Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro for those who can't" and on this webpage people can learn more about us and our climb, and of course, contribute," said Head.

The CFC Overseas Campaign theme is "Making a World of Difference" and around February 11, 2009, both Kent and Head plan to be as close to the top of the world that a person on the African continent can get to support "Homes for our troops".

"Being approved to be included in CFC says something about an organization, and if people have something they care about, they should support it. Rob and I are going to climb to the top of Mount Kilimanjaro with hopes to do it safely and inspire others to support us," said Head.

With over 2,000 organizations, all vetted and scrutinized to meet CFC criteria, participating in the CFC Campaign, there are many opportunities where your voluntary support can make a world of difference.

The fourth reason why people give is because they are affected by the cause. As wonderful as life can be, it also has its share of health, disaster preparedness, and social conditions that can affect our fellow man or woman, or ourselves.

"I've supported organizations for cancer or other diseases, and lucky for me I'm healthy. But more important to me, my family experienced hard times and I have seen poverty at home and around the world in my military experience. That's what's good about CFC. There are organizations that help people in these conditions and each year I like to choose a different organization," said Teddy Deshazier of the USAG Schinnen Command Group.

If you can't decide which organization to support, you can make an unspecified donation to CFC that will be apportioned so all CFC organizations benefit. So, when deciding to give, you can leave the details to CFC if you choose.

U.S. Army Staff Sgt. James Dillabaugh, a Chaplain's Assistant at the Religious Support Office on JFC Brunssum, Netherlands, said, "I like to give to Christian charities and CFC makes it easy. I can find the charities I choose to support, compute an annual amount that is appropriate for my situation, and then know my support is coming directly out of my paycheck."

There was a time when countless charities would randomly approach employees for donations. This was disruptive to the workplace and it usually limited contributions to an employee's pocket change. Through CFC's payroll deduction method, employees are approached only once per year and, through payroll deduction, support is predictable, legally recorded, and usually much better than pocket change, which is one reason why CFC is such a successful annual workplace charity.

The fifth reason why people give is to give back to the community, and CFC has a pretty direct method for voluntary contributors to do that - simply log on to www.cfcoverseas.org and click on "e-Giving", where you can establish an account, search for organizations to support and decide how you wish to donate. When you're at the final screen that lists your desired donation, you'll see a line for "FSYP", which stands for "Family Support and Youth Programs. This is an opportunity to make a donation that will directly support family support and youth programs in your local military community.

The mission of the CFC is to promote and support philanthropy through a program that is employee focused, cost-efficient, and effective in providing all federal employees the opportunity to improve the quality of life for all. Pledges made by US federal civilian, postal and military donors during the campaign season support eligible non-profit organizations that provide health and human service benefits throughout the world.

The links to the right provide more details about CFC. It's voluntary and an opportunity to make a world of difference. If you have any questions, your unit commander, 1st Sgt., or non-commissioned officer in charge can put you in contact with your unit CFC-Overseas Coordinator. The annual campaign ends Dec. 15, so please act soon.

Page last updated Wed October 21st, 2009 at 09:10