REDSTONE ARSENAL, Ala. -- The 2018 Annual Redstone Arsenal Combined Federal Campaign kickoff and charity fair was held at the NASA activities building on Oct. 16.The U.S. Army Research, Development, and Engineering Command, Aviation & Missile Center hosted the event where 40 charities set up booths to introduce their causes to the community. Dr. Timothy C. McDowell is the Team Redstone CFC chair and shared relevant details about the program, such as the online giving platform being used this year.The CFC encourages federal employees to donate to charities which help improve the quality of life of people around the world. Eligible charities, which provide health and human services worldwide, receive funds collected during the campaign each year. There are thousands of charities supporting different causes, so donors can give to a cause close to them.Jody Singer, NASA Marshall Space Flight Center director, spoke on the importance of the CFC. "Because of you, young students receive tutoring in reading and math; neglected youth receive shelter; hungry families are fed; the terminally ill receive professional care; the handicapped receive wheelchairs; veterans receive blankets; and there are so many more examples that I couldn't begin to cover," Singer said."For 25 years, I have contributed to CFC," said Col. Kelsey Smith, Redstone Arsenal U.S. Army Garrison commander. "I know that that money is reaching our Soldiers, it is reaching Americans… who otherwise don't have the opportunities that we do."Smith said careful attention is paid when selecting which charities are involved in the campaign, as to only include reputable charities. "[CFC] has made sure that the money you give goes to an organization that is actually returning your money to someone who needs it."Even a seemingly small contribution can impact the well-being of someone in need. Smith encouraged people to skip their daily stop at the coffee shop to invest that money into a greater cause."For over 55 years, the Army, NASA, and an increasing number of other federal partners have done a lot of growing, learning, and serving together," said Singer. "This community is a wonderful community and are great partners [for] the Arsenal."The solicitation period began Sept. 10, 2018, and will run through Jan. 11, 2019. If interested in giving, or for more information, please visit Aviation & Missile Center is part of the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command, which has the mission to provide innovative research, development and engineering to produce capabilities that provide decisive overmatch to the Army against the complexities of the current and future operating environments in support of the joint Warfighter and the nation. RDECOM is a major subordinate command of the U.S. Army Materiel Command.