WIESBADEN, Germany -- This year's local Combined Federal Campaign kicked off with a chili cook-off Oct. 25 at the Tony Bass Gym. Volunteers provided five homemade chilis, and the USO offered hot dogs and soda. People in attendance voted on their favorite chili and had the chance to ask questions and learn more about the CFC.

The CFC is among the largest workplace charity campaigns in the world, raising millions of dollars each year, according to information provided at the event. It began as a way to organize and simplify fundraising from federal workplaces. Charities are vetted and the campaign condensed into one timeframe. The addition of a payroll deduction option adds to the simplification, making it easier for employees to donate and more productive for charities.

Through the CFC, federal employees can choose from thousands of charities to donate to, and the charities are vetted, said Capt. Collin Clibon, community area project officer for the garrison's CFC campaign.

"Really anything that you're passionate about, you can find a charity that matches up with that in the CFC," Clibon said.

This year's campaign goal is $150,000. Units must make 100 percent contact with civilians and Soldiers, meaning representatives should have a face-to-face interaction with every person in their organization, to raise awareness about the campaign.

For those who didn't make it to the chili cook-off but would still like to donate, each unit or department has a designated CFC representative who can help donors fill out a paper form, or donations can be made online at cfcoverseas.org. Donors can give a one-time gift or opt for payroll deduction.

"The CFC's really great because it allows you to reach out to very local charities, some more obscure charities that do really great work, that may not have the opportunity to do the kind of fundraising that they need," Clibon said.

The campaign runs through mid-January.