By Skip Vaughn USAG RedstoneSeptember 18, 2009
The stack of boxes is about to grow at the office of the Tennessee Valley's Combined Federal Campaign.
They contain individual donor recognition items for the upcoming campaign. Soon they will be joined by 22,000 copies of the CFC brochures listing the charities.
"And then you'll see another stack up to the ceiling over here," said Melinda Seigler, CFC coordinator for United Way of Madison County which is the campaign's principal combined fund organization.
CFC coordinator Donna Johnson doesn't mind making room in building 3708 at the corner of Aerobee and Patton roads. She's fired up about the 2009 campaign scheduled Sept. 30 through Dec. 11.
"Now more than ever there are a lot of people in our community and our nation and our world that need our support," Johnson said.
The theme for this year's campaign, which has a $2 million goal, is "iCan now more than ever."
The kickoff celebration is Sept. 30 from 10-11 a.m. in Bob Jones Auditorium, building 5304. The agency fair will be held 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Sparkman Center parade field between buildings 5303 and 5304.
Dr. Delbert Baker, president of Oakwood University, is the kickoff's keynote speaker. Entertainment will be provided by the Bob Jones High School Drum Line. Music at the agency fair will be provided by WZYP radio personality Mojo.
"It's important for us to support the community that we live, work and play in," Seigler said.
Some 16,701 federal, military and postal employees in 47 agencies in a seven-county area will be asked to voluntarily contribute to the campaign. The counties include Cullman, Lawrence, Limestone, Madison, Marshall, Morgan in north Alabama and Lincoln in southern Tennessee.
CFC includes 177 local charities and 2,400 national and international charities.
"And it's a donor designated campaign," Seigler said. "The federal employee tells us where to put their money."
"And we're asking the employee to please designate to make sure your money goes where you want it to go," Johnson added.
Contributions are strictly voluntary. CFC volunteers got a glimpse of the community's needs when they toured some of the local charities, including the Downtown Rescue Mission, during the week of Aug. 24.
"Everybody in Huntsville doesn't have a job," Johnson said. "We have a lot of needs right here in the community. Through CFC we have an opportunity to lend a helping hand. Everybody's been affected by this downturn, recession. We want to give 100 percent of employees an opportunity to make a voluntary contribution to CFC."
Last year's campaign collected $2,280,000, the most ever, against a $2 million goal. The campaign began in 1961 after President Kennedy's executive order.
"This is my 11th year with the campaign," Seigler said. "And I've seen an increase with the funds we've raised every year since I've been with the campaign. I attribute that to better educating the federal donor about CFC and how it makes a difference with the communities we live in."
"This is my sixth campaign," Johnson said. "And my goal is to continue to educate the federal work force about the needs that are out there and challenge folks to continue to give so we can continue to make a difference."
Every dollar does make a difference. Some of the smaller charities depend on CFC dollars every year.
"Our campaign has been successful due to the outstanding support we receive from Team Redstone leadership," Johnson said. This includes honorary chairman Maj. Gen. Jim Myles, commander of the Aviation and Missile Command, and Garrison commander Col. Bob Pastorelli.
Five federal agencies have joined the campaign since arriving through base realignment and closure including headquarters Army Materiel Command-Forward, the U.S. Army Security Assistance Command, the Army Contracting Command, the 2nd Recruiting Brigade and the 2nd Medical Recruiting Brigade.
The CFC office can be reached at 256-876-9143.