PANAMA CITY, Fla (NNS) -- Federal employees attached to various commands at Naval Support Activity Panama City (NSA PC), Fla. donate to the Combined Federal Campaign (CFC) during the holiday season of 2013.
With almost 200 CFC campaigns throughout the country, NSA PC and its tenant commands are doing their part to help raise millions of dollars.
"It's a one-time, once-a-year event for the government and eliminates multiple fund-raising campaigns throughout the year," said James Fath, Naval Surface Warfare Center Panama City Division's (NSWC PCD) CFC Supervisor. "Instead of getting solicited for donations multiple times a year, we do it once-a-year all at once."
Fath said he feels that having one campaign a year is a benefit for both the government and the charities because the charities don't have to advertise, the CFC does it for them. Charities are selected according to the U.S Office of Personnel Management (OPM) screening guidelines according to national, international, and local OPM guidelines.
"It's a way for federal employees to give back to their community or what they feel is important based on their beliefs," said Personnel Specialist 1st Class Tina M. Cook, NSA PC's CFC Key Worker.
Cook mentioned donating to the CFC benefits everyone, not only the donor, but the charities helping the millions in need of assistance as well.
Fath said OPM regulations designate the CFC from September 1st through December 15th each year, with each campaign typically lasting six weeks. The Department of Defense (DoD)-wide campaign was authorized to extend for an additional two weeks due to sequestration and the 16 day government shutdown impacts. The extra time gives people more of an opportunity to donate, added Fath.
"We were ordered to shut down during the campaign, causing people to quit working on the campaign," said Fath. "Once the shutdown ended, we had to restart the CFC. The shutdown cost people a lot of money and has made it harder to donate. Our personnel's hearts are in the right place, but their pocketbooks are less full."
"If you'd like to donate, all you have to do is sign a pledge card," said Cook. "The payments accepted include cash, check or an allotment directly from your paycheck."
"Our goal is 100 percent contact with all government employees," said Fath. "They can choose to donate and are not forced, but we give them the opportunity to do so. We have 14 commands with federal employees on NSA PC, and each command has several representatives. Those representatives will give them a slip to donate or opt out. We ask each branch to nominate a key worker, and it averages to about one key worker per 30 personnel."
Cook said donation options make giving very easy.
Even with the shutdown, it is still very simple to donate and it comes with its own rewards.
"You can do an upfront one-time donation, based on what you want to give," said Cook. "Or, you can set up a monthly donation that will be taken directly out of your paycheck. By donating more than $240 dollars, you receive a gift, but it's a way to give back to your community and help someone else without having to directly help them. It makes you feel good."
"It's a very rewarding experience," said Fath. "Our people are very generous and it's a good thing to do and helps a lot of people. We almost exceeded our goal and the trend has been exceeding each previous year. It's very rewarding."
Last year, the donations of federal employees raised base-wide were a combined total of $139,925.86. NSWC PCD won one of two awards in the 2012 CFC category of "Largest Dollar Campaign" at the United Way of Northwest Florida's annual meeting held in March 2013.
For more news from Naval Support Activity Panama City, visit www.navy.mil/local/nsapc/.