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Donate to CFC; lend someone a helping hand

JOINT BASE ANDREWS, Md. -- Air Force leadership recognizes the beginning of the Combined Federal Campaign by completing their donation forms before the 79th Medical Wing change of command ceremony on Joint Base Andrews Sept. 24. The Air Force CFC start date is Oct. 4 and those wishing to donate may contact your unit's CFC key worker. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Melissa Brownstein)

JOINT BASE ANDREWS, Md. -- Air Force leadership recognizes the beginning of the Combined Federal Campaign by completing their donation forms before the 79th Medical Wing change of command ceremony on Joint Base Andrews Sept. 24. The Air Force CFC start date is Oct. 4 and those wishing to donate may contact your unit's CFC key worker. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Melissa Brownstein)

Maj. Gen. Darrell Jones, Air Force District of Washington commander, and Chief Master Sgt. Pat Battenberg, AFDW command chief, fill out their Combined Federal Campaign forms at Joint Base Andrews, Md., Oct 1.  CFC is the world’s largest and most successful annual workplace charity campaign, with more than 300 CFC campaigns throughout the country and internationally to help to raise millions of dollars each year. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Christopher A. Marasky)

Maj. Gen. Darrell Jones, Air Force District of Washington commander, and Chief Master Sgt. Pat Battenberg, AFDW command chief, fill out their Combined Federal Campaign forms at Joint Base Andrews, Md., Oct 1. CFC is the world’s largest and most successful annual workplace charity campaign, with more than 300 CFC campaigns throughout the country and internationally to help to raise millions of dollars each year. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Christopher A. Marasky)

JOINT BASE ANDREWS -- As we find ourselves in holiday season mode, it's understandable that our minds are filled with typical festive issues like: "Can I get away with wearing elastic waistband pants to Thanksgiving dinner?" "I hope the photos from the office holiday party don't make it to Facebook." "Hopefully my granddaughter got rid of her nose ring."

The point is that it's easy for us to get caught up in all the wonderful craziness that is this time of year and lose sight of how fortunate we are, and that there are millions of people around the world that could use a little kindness.

For those who have not had the opportunity to make a charitable gift, and still want to help those in need, the Combined Federal Campaign is entering its final few weeks with the deadline to donate now Dec. 3.

The CFC has more than 4,000 approved charities in every interest area, so whether you want to feed the hungry, comfort the ill, protect the environment or donate to a local charity that directly affects your community, you have plenty of options to choose from, said Capt. Paul Stempel, 11th Wing Staff CFC lead representative. It's also important to note that donors can give with confidence knowing that CFC approved charities have met rigorous screening criteria, ensuring their donations will reach those in need without unnecessary overhead costs.

"I think it's important for the federal government to show to America and the world the type of people we are, and I think one gage of a person's character is how much they show concern for people who need help," Captain Stempel said.

According to Capt. Anabelle Cabreja, Air Force District of Washington representative, AFDW has raised more than $160,000 towards its goal of $362,000 and despite the sluggish economy expects to see that number climb higher in this final push to the Dec. 3 deadline.

"Precisely because it may be harder to contribute this year, it is so vital that we continue to give," Deputy Defense Secretary William J. Lynn III 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."

Those wishing to donate to CFC can log onto its website, www.cfcnca.org, and browse the more than 4,000 charities. Contributions can be as low as $1 and be spread out over the course of a 12-month period.

Maya Angelou, world renowned poet once said, "if you find it in your heart to care for somebody else, you will have succeeded."

Donating with CFC presents you with a unique opportunity to help a local charity that's close to your heart or someone overseas who you will never meet but whose quality of life is improved with your donation.