For more than 60 years the Combined Federal Campaign (CFC) has changed countless lives, says Min Cox, CFC leader for the Department of Defense.
“If I had to quantify the success, how many folks’ lives have changed through the CFC, it would be unmeasurable. There are so many testimonials about how the CFC made a difference, which can be heard firsthand during the CFC charity fairs held by different agencies,” she said.
CFC is the official workplace giving campaign for federal employees and retirees; every year, it raises money and organizes volunteer efforts for several charities — “spreading happiness around the world, one gift at a time,” Cox said.
The first “combined” campaigns were organized in 1964 as an experiment to streamline fundraising efforts. It was a big success, noting a substantial increase in contributions – ranging from 20% to 125%, according to the CFC website.
Much of the fundraising and support has been connected to the military community.
“Since its inception, the CFC has raised over $8.7 billion to help people and communities in need,” said Army Col. John F. Lopes, a loaned executive for the National Capital Area this year. “Each year the Department of Defense (DoD) has been, and continues to be, the most generous donors in the federal government, representing 30% of all pledges.”
Several factors will influence which organizations an individual might decide to support; for Cox, those that in turn support veterans make sense.
“My dad was a Vietnam veteran,” she says, “and was exposed to Agent Orange during the war. It led him to have a number of health issues including cancer.”
Regardless of those health conditions, Cox explains, her father continued to support himself by volunteering at an organization to help less-fortunate veterans and their families.
“I want to continue supporting my dad’s cause, as a veteran,” she proudly said. “Every day the military and the military community make sacrifices that go unnoticed in the defense of our nation,” said Lopes. “Giving to a charity that supports our military community is a great way to both support the military community, and support those who are willing to give up so much for all of us.”
Donors and volunteers can visit the CFC website, create an account, and easily find a charity they want to either donate or volunteer with by clicking the “Donate” tab on the home page, and then navigating to a tab titled “Find a CFC Approved Charity.”
Cox adds that individuals can also join the CFC family by volunteering to be a CFC keyworker within their agency.
“In the military, I was assigned as a keyworker for multiple years, but I didn’t truly understand my role and how much impact my role could have within the CFC community,” she said. “As a CFC veteran, I hope the federal employees take the time to learn more about how the CFC can impact us and the community.
Regardless of how one might get involved, the power of coming together as a community is undeniable.
“Giving a little can go a long way,” Lopes says, “but together we can do so much more.”