By CATRINA FRANCIS
Gold Standard Senior Staff Writer
The Combined Federal Campaign, the largest and most successful workplace giving campaign in the world, kicked off Tuesday in the Saber & Quill’s Signature Room. This year’s goal is $498,000.
Since 1961, federal employees have generously donated more than $7 billion to nonprofit organizations.
“The Combined Federal Campaign does great things,” said Col. T.J. Edwards, the Fort Knox garrison commander. “The goal is to get out there and get the information out. People aren’t going to give if they don’t get the information.”
Although Department of the Army civilians have faced tough economic times due to the six furlough days this year, Edwards encourages giving a little to help make the post and the Army
“I’d be remiss if I didn’t tell you (that) you can give (to post organizations such as) Army Community Service, Better Opportunities for Single Soldiers, Child, Youth (and School) Services and fitness and aquatics,” explained Edwards. “Together we can make a difference.”
Fran Curry, the CFC manager, said its mission is to support philanthropy through a program that is employee focused, cost efficient and effective in providing all federal employees the opportunity to improve the quality of life for all.
Curry said this year’s theme is “I make it possible.”
“Fort Knox does make it possible,” she said. “Last year (Fort Knox) collected $496,000. I’m honored to be working with you.”
May Giulitto, the director of the Fort Knox American Red Cross, said her organization has two large programs on post—Helping Hands and the Holiday Assistance Food program. Helping Hands provides clothing, financial assistance and food for Soldiers in need.
“We assist in a lot of ways to (help) get (Soldiers and their Families) over that hump,” said Giulitto. “Army Community Service and (the) Army Emergency Relief (assist) during the day (and) we take over after 4:30 p.m. We have grants as well as loans.”
She also said the Holiday Assistance Food program provides baskets, gift cards and canned goods for Soldiers and their Families during the holiday season. The Red Cross also runs Santa’s Workshop.
“We’ve been blessed to have Soldiers support our program,” Giulitto said.
The surprise of the kickoff was Brigette Williams, the founder and director of Second Chances Wildlife Center, and her special guest—a skunk. Command Sgt. Maj. Marcus Robinson, the garrison’s senior enlisted leader, had an opportunity for an up close introduction of Williams’ furry little friend.
Spc. Donnie Laster of the BOSS program was also on hand to explain the benefits of that program. During his seven years in the Army Laster said he’s never encountered a program for Soldiers like the one at Knox, especially a program with its own building.
Even though this year’s goal is slightly higher than last year, Master Sgt. Michael Townes, the installation CFC manager, encourages everyone to read through the book.
“It doesn’t take much,” he said. “Our goal is double the amount of donors we had last year.”