WASHINGTON — The Defense Department’s 2010 Combined Federal Campaign kicked off here today, offering federal civilians and military members the opportunity to contribute to any of more than 4,000 pre-screened charities.
Deputy Defense Secretary William J. Lynn III launched the department’s annual CFC drive in the Pentagon Library Conference Center, addressing gathered representatives of more than 20 Defense Department services, components and agencies.
“Your leadership has helped this department exceed its contribution goals year after year,” Lynn said. “I’ve returned today to ask all of you to do it again – not only to reach a new and higher target, but also to continue expanding the number of employees who choose to participate.”
Lynn invoked President Barack Obama in noting that CFC charities feed families who have lost their homes, help wounded servicemembers and their families, foster education in underprivileged areas and provide emergency supplies to disaster victims.
“Precisely because it may be harder to contribute this year, it is so vital that we continue to give,” he said. “President Obama has said that America’s success depends on the ability to extend opportunity to every willing heart – and the Combined Federal Campaign enables us to do just that.”
Army Brig. Gen. R. Mark Brown, a military representative to the National Capital Area CFC, also spoke as part of today’s kickoff. He challenged Defense Department employees to treat CFC as “part of our mission.”
“Your gifts will serve the needy, comfort the ill, search for cures, protect the environment, and reach out to help in countless other ways,” he said.
“Sometimes, our battlefield … is not the sands of Iraq or the mountains of Afghanistan. Sometimes, that battlefield is the unemployment line, the food line, and the rehab room,” he added. “We cannot accept defeat in these causes any more than we can accept defeat on the battlefield when we are sent to fight.”
The department’s 2010 CFC campaign will continue through Dec. 15.
Since 1971, CFC has been the sole authorized workplace charitable campaign for the federal service. CFC administrators and volunteers reach potential donors through more than 200 local organizations, and givers may contribute via cash, check, or payroll deduction. Pledge forms are available through local coordinators and online at regional CFC Web sites.
Charities wishing to participate in CFC must complete an annual application process. Organizations may apply to be listed as local, national or international charities depending on their area of service. The Office of Personnel Management, which oversees the program, maintains strict eligibility and public accountability criteria that all participating CFC charities must meet.
According to OPM figures, 2009 CFC pledges totaled nearly $282.6 million, a 2.7 percent increase over the previous year. The campaign has garnered more than $6 billion in charitable contributions since its inception in 1961.
U.S. Department of Defense
Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Public Affairs)