SCHINNEN (Netherlands) - USAG Schinnen kicked off its annual Combined Federal Campaign (CFC) charity drive today with a volleyball tournament and BBQ in the Community Activities Center.

Last year, Schinnen's campaign raised over $35,000, according to Sgt. Audra Elliott, USAG Schinnen's CFC campaign manager, but she'd like to see this year's campaign top $40,000. Elliott is promoting CFC at information booths and displays around the Schinnen community.

Besides uniformed and civilian personnel assigned at USAG Schinnen, the campaign also includes AFNORTH International School, AFNORTH Battalion based at JFC HQ Brunssum and the 598th Transportation Group located in Rotterdam.

The CFC campaign makes it possible for uniformed and civilian personnel to contribute charitable donations through payroll deductions. Last year's overseas CFC campaign provided some $15.6 million to support more than 2,300 charities. The wide range of participating charities allows contributors to direct their charitable dollars to a mission or cause that corresponds with their individual interests.

Sgt. Elliott sees this as one of the main benefits of CFC. "You get all these charities to pick from. Whatever you're passionate about, whatever you care about, you can pick that one. You're not limited to just one organization," she explained.

This year's overseas CFC campaign continues through Dec. 3. Uniformed and civilian personnel may contribute via two methods: the traditional paper Pledge Card or online e-Giving at

In addition to selecting charities, contributors may elect to support their local military communities by earmarking some or all of their contributions for "Family Support and Youth Programs" (FSYP). Donations to FSYP are returned to the donor's installation to support quality of life programs for overseas service members and their families, such as Army Community Service programs at USAG Schinnen.

To mark a contribution for FSYP, check the separate block labeled "FSYP" which appears on the Pledge Card and online giving form directly beneath the boxes where contributors enter charity codes.