By Crista MackOctober 2, 2012
FORT SHAFTER, Hawaii -- The 2012 Pacific Combined Federal Campaign officially kicked off with a breakfast at Fort Shafter's Hale Ikena Oct. 1.
The CFC is an annual fund-raising drive conducted by federal employees. Each year a different branch of military command conducts the Hawaii-Pacific CFC. This year's lead is the U.S. Army Pacific, and the theme is "One Team making a difference."
CFC action officers attending the breakfast were able to view booths and hear a little about some established charities that were on hand to discuss their cause or operation. Maj. Gen. Roger Mathews, Deputy Commanding General, USARPAC, keynote speaker at the event, expressed appreciation for the units and efforts the campaign takes and challenged.
The Pacific CFC reaches out to 95,000 federal employees, military members and government employees. The region represented covers Hawaii, Guam, American Samoa and the Northern Marianas.
There are over 2700 charities available to contribute to through CFC, and one can choose to give to individual charities or general funds, according to Lt. Col. Darren Holbrook, Hawaii Pacific Region CFC Manager and USARPAC Equal Opportunity program manager.
"If someone can give just one dollar a month, imagine all the good they can do, that's really not a lot to the military member, but that will vaccinate 300 kids for polio, or provide 3 meals on wheels for seniors, and that's with only one dollar per month," said Holbrook, who is directing the Region for the second time.
"We've issued out 4500 packets through a great team support effort from the 8th Theater Sustainment Command and trained almost 500 key people how to fill out the forms and how to get others to pledge," he said.
In addition to donating to charities of each individual choice, this year, for the first time, it's possible to give by using a credit card. It's also the second year individuals can pledge online.
Anyone interested in pledging can donate to http://www.cfc-hawaii.org/ .
"We cannot do what we do without the support of each other, so it's really a good thing that we're all able to work with CFC," said Theresa Johnson, from the Fisher House, one of the featured agencies presenting at the breakfast.
The campaign runs until Nov. 16, and the goal is contact of 100 percent.
"Last year's campaign raised 6.5 million dollars in funds, and that was with only 36 percent participation," said Holbrook. "I think if we can contact everybody and give them an opportunity to give, we will surpass that number this year."