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The Combined Federal Campaign, which allows federal employees to support a range of charities through periodic payroll deductions, will run from Saturday through Dec. 15.
The CFC is the worlds largest workplace-giving campaign, said Laura Walker, Fort Benning CFC manager. Last year, the Fort Benning community raised $879,000 for local, national and international charities.
As in years past, the goal is 100 percent quality contact meaning every employee knows about the CFC and understands the giving process.
We want to make sure every federal employee is given the opportunity to make a difference, Walker said. I would love to exceed last years total and I think we can. I think the economy is strengthening and I know the Fort Benning community is mindful of the fact that charities need support more than ever when there is such a demand for assistance.
The local CFC spans 12 counties: Muscogee, Chattahoochee, Harris, Talbot, Taylor, Marion, Schley, Sumter, Webster, Stewart, Quitman and, in Alabama, Russell.
Giving through one or more payroll deductions is open to all service members, DoD civilians and other federal employees, such as national historic site and postal workers, who work in one of the above counties. Anyone may give with a one-time gift.
One of the best things about the CFC in general is that a donor has complete freedom to choose, Walker said. They can choose to give or not give. They can give by payroll deduction or a one-time gift. And donors can choose the charities theyd like to give their hard-earned money to.
The more than 2,700 charities included in the CFC support a variety of causes from the environment, arts and education to humanitarian aid, evangelism and health care. On each pledge card, individuals can name up to five specific agencies they wish to support, or they can leave their donations undesignated. Undesignated funds are split among charities local donors have selected and given in the ratio they have designated.
Sadly, many charities have gone out of business during this economic downturn, Walker said. People just cant afford to donate as much as they used to and agencies are often having to provide even more services. That is the key reason I encourage donors to continue supporting the charities that they are passionate about.
With its global reach, CFC monies can help an African village get a new well or let a Fort Benning child receive a Christmas present when he or she wouldnt otherwise. Those who want to give on post have a number of options, including Fort Benning schools, scouting and the Red Cross.
Although we are on an American Army post, we are an international community, Walker said. A donor whose family is from South Africa can give to South Africa Partners. A Soldier with Polish ancestry can give to the Polish American Association. There are 420 international charities in our brochure from which to choose. On the other hand, many people like to think globally but give locally. The Columbus/Fort Benning Regional CFC has 132 local agencies in our brochure.
The CFC is meant to provide an easy and efficient way for the federal employee to support what they believe in. Its my hope that if someone feels fortunate enough to be able to donate, that we make it as easy for them to give as possible giving and helping should feel good.
For more information on how to volunteer or donate, contact Walker at 706-545-9782. For more on the local CFC. visit www.columbusbenningcfc.org.