By U.S. Army Europe Public Affairs OfficeOctober 29, 2008
HEIDELBERG, Germany -- While a tough economy seems to be on everyone's minds these days, overseas contributors are still reaching into their hearts and wallets to donate to this year's Combined Federal Campaign-Overseas, CFC-O officials said.
A month into this year's campaign, contributions to the more than 2,000 charities in the 2008 CFC-O program are continuing despite economic uncertainty, said Constance Baker, CFC-O deputy director.
"The economy is scary. Gas prices are up. The news is not very positive. People are afraid, but it could be worse, and people recognize that and continue to give to these worthwhile causes," said Baker. "We're grateful that everyone is still giving in spite of the current bad news."
Baker pointed out that this year's drive continues through Dec. 3, so there is still time -- and a wide variety of opportunities -- to contribute.
"It has never been easier to give," she said.
Contributors can always fill out a pledge card with the representative who serves as the CFC-O "keyperson" for their unit or organization, Baker said, but now they can fill out a pledge card online or donate online by credit card as well.
An "online pledge assistant" is available on the CFC-O Web site, Baker said, that can help donors find charities by name or type and guide contributors through the process of filling out a pledge card online. Other areas of the site offer guidelines to help donors make informed decisions about their contributions.
Baker pointed out, however, that the pledge assistant is not an online contribution, but generates a pledge form that must be printed and given to the keyperson for the donor's organization. The CFC-O Web site offers contacts to help contributors identify their keypersons if necessary.
Credit card donations are online donations. The contributor goes through the same pledge assistant process to select a charity, opts to make a one-time or monthly recurring donation, then completes the transaction immediately by entering valid credit card information, Baker explained.
When making donations, contributors can designate that their pledges go to support specific charities. Baker noted that overseas donors can also contribute to one special program -- the Family Support and Youth Programs initiative.
One hundred percent of donations made to FSYP go directly to overseas military communities to help fund child care, emergency assistance, recreation, community education and other quality of life programs and facilities.
According to program data, of the $15.7 million raised by CFC-O for charities worldwide during its 2007 campaign, more than $700,000 was designated by donors to support the FSYP initiative.
To learn more about CFC-Overseas or use the CFC-O's online contributor tools, visit the program's Web site at www.cfcoverseas.org.