August 30, 2012
FORT JACKSON, S.C. -- This year's Combined Federal Campaign launched Monday with a reception at the Officers' Club. Even though the country's economic recession has had a negative impact on charitable donations in recent years, this year's campaign goals remain lofty -- to raise $1.5 million for local, national and international charities between Sept. 1 and Dec. 14.
"Our theme this year is 'Give a Little, Help a Lot,'" said Brig. Gen. Bryan Roberts, Fort Jackson commanding general and a co-chairman of this year's CFC campaign. "As the largest military training center in the United States ... we have an unspoken responsibility to make a difference in somebody's life. We are all leaders in that category. Our service men and women are molded by Army values. This kind of campaign is an extension of those values."
The Combined Federal Campaign allows military personnel and federal employees to donate to local, national and international charities of their choice. The Fort Jackson CFC drive is part of the Midlands effort.
Part of Fort Jackson's plan is to contact and inform its entire roster of Soldiers and civilian employees, Roberts said.
"We will make sure, here at Fort Jackson, that we will contact 100 percent of our Soldiers, 100 percent of our Department of the Army civilians, and give everybody an opportunity to give a little, help a lot," he said.
"It's humbling to see the level of commitment from the military community, and the civilian community, toward CFC," said Arnold Miller, a CFC civilian co-chairman and Social Security Administration District Manager. "We make a big difference here in the Midlands. Most of us are not from here originally, but our giving can be local, it can be national and it can be international."
Since 1961, federal workers have donated more than $6 billion to the CFC. There are approximately 80 local charities that can receive donations through the campaign, and approximately 2,000 national and international organizations available for donors.
"Charities are hurting," said Craig Currey, chief operating officer of Transitions, a Columbia-based organization tasked with moving people from homelessness to permanent housing. "Giving is down. There is a desperate need in Columbia and the Midlands right now."
A retired colonel and former deputy commanding officer of Fort Jackson, Currey contributed to the CFC campaign for 30 years during his years in the Army.
"We need to promote a culture of giving," he said. "We need to help people. It should become a matter of habit. In the federal world, it's good. You have a job, you have health care, you have a retirement plan. But there are other people out there who aren't so fortunate."
In 2011, the Midlands CFC placed second nationally in the $1 million or more category for having a 9.6 percent increase over the previous year.
"Last year the CFC collected more than $1.3 million and more than $122,000 of that stayed right here and went to the United Way of the Midlands and went to its member agencies," Miller said. "Our local CFC beat the third-place winner by twotenths of a percent. The first-place winner beat us by less than 2 percent. Every dollar counts."
For more information, visit www.midlandsareacfc.org.