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Tuesday, Oct. 04, 2011

CFC celebrates 50 years of giving

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It is said that tragedy begets heroes, and for many, donating money is a manageable way to make a difference in the world.

Luckily, choosing a channel to make a difference is easy because of the Combined Federal Campaign. During the past 50 years, CFC became one of the most successful philanthropic programs in history. In fact, since its inception in 1961, the CFC has raised more than $6 billion.

Last year, with the help of 150 volunteers, more than 12,000 people donated $880,000 for various charitable organizations. The four most popular charities here were American Red Cross, Wounded Warrior Project, Special Operations Warrior Foundation and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

Each year, Americans donate funds to various charities. But, there are countless fraudulent charities out there today that make a business of capitalizing on tragedies. Fortunately, the CFC provides an accountable, transparent and flexible way to donate.

Before becoming a part of CFC, charities go through a rigorous evaluation process by the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.

You can choose from a variety of charities and causes, ranging from local to international. You also have the option to donate one-time gifts or set up payroll withholding so you can contribute as little or as much as you like to charities.

For the same weekly cost as a cup of coffee or a pack of gum, you can make a difference by providing steady funds to meaningful charities. It is an easy way to support the causes that matter most. By donating through a payroll contribution at any level, you can simply “set it and forget it.”

From federal employees’ regular payroll contributions, charities are able to make cohesive plans for the next fiscal year rather than “wait and pray” that people are in the giving spirit during the holiday season. Programs like the CFC are also beneficial to charities because a greater proportion of the dollars contributed goes directly to the charity as opposed to third-party fundraisers.

In 2011, the CFC celebrates 50 years of success. As the program moves into its next 50 years, it remains on the forefront of philanthropic trends, constantly looking to provide new options for federal workers to tap into the humanitarian within us to make the world a better place for generations to come.

It is my hope those of us at the Columbus/Fort Benning Regional CFC can help to make the next 50 years even more successful than the first 50.

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