REDSTONE ARSENAL, Ala. - For half a century, federal employees have selflessly given to help the less fortunate through the Combined Federal Campaign.

The mission of CFC is to promote and support philanthropy through a program that is employee focused, cost efficient, and effective in providing all federal employees the opportunity to improve the quality of life for others.

"I am proud of your commitment to support those in need," said Lt. Gen. Richard P. Formica, U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command/Army Forces Strategic Command commanding general. "I applaud those who make contributions each year and I am confident we will continue to demonstrate generosity throughout the 2011 campaign season."

Established in 1961, CFC is the largest workplace charity campaign in the United States and the only campaign authorized to solicit and collect contributions from federal employees in the workplace on behalf of charitable organizations.

It is the only authorized solicitation of employees in the federal workplace. Donations are entirely voluntary, and no Soldier, civilian or contractor can be forced to give.

On Sept. 14, Redstone Arsenal held a kickoff celebration to bring all installation organizations together to celebrate CFC's 50th year.

"This community has always given a lot and it always seems to give even more as we continue to go forward," said Col. John Hamilton, Redstone Arsenal garrison commander. "I firmly believe that if you take a measure of the character of America and of this community, and you look at the characteristics that make up who we are, chief among that is a sense of a desire to take care of our neighbors."

Since its inception, donors have contributed more than $7 billion to improve the quality of life for others. Last year, USASMDC/ARSTRAT contributed more than $162,000 and organizers have hopes of surpassing that amount this year.

Pledges made by federal civilian and military donors during the campaign season support eligible non-profit organizations that provide health and human service benefits throughout the world. Contributions can be made either by cash or check, or can be automatically deducted from an employee's paycheck.

"CFC is important because it changes lives of other people," said KC Bertling, SMDC family program manager and the command's CFC representative. "It impacts the less fortunate such as the sick and the homeless, as well as numerous veteran organizations."

The 2011 CFC campaign began Sept. 1 and will end Dec. 15.

"You may have never received or experienced benefits from the various CFC foundations but one day you may be in need of their assistance," Bertling said. "But when you benefit you understand the need for these organizations. It is a great chance to give to groups whose purpose is to help those in need."

For more information on this year's CFC season, contact Bertling at (256) 955-4082 or at