CAMP LEMONNIER, Djibouti (NNS) -- The 2009 Combined Federal Campaign (CFC) drive took flight Sept. 24 at Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti (CLDJ), when Capt. Bill Finn, the camp's commanding officer, became the first member at the camp to donate to this year's charity campaign.
"The CFC is a great tool for federal employees to donate to one or more charities and foundations that we can confidently believe are helping those in need around the world," said Finn. "As military members, we feel very strongly about serving our nation and communities and the CFC campaign is another opportunity to demonstrate this commitment."
To help prepare for this year's drive, the camp's campaign volunteers received training via a video telephone conference (VTC) with coordinators in Germany.
"I believe the VTC training was very successful," said SSgt. Chris Blankenship, the assistant CFC coordinator for Joint Task Force/Horn of Africa (JTF/HOA). "For people who have not had the chance to work with the CFC before, the training provided us with the tools to meet the needs of our audience and better understand the program as a whole."
Along with overcoming the obstacle of receiving training, CFC coordinators at the camp are also faced with other difficulties. Besides the problems Djibouti's extreme heat can cause, Master Chief Information Technician (SW/AW) Kevin Manns also feels operating in an expeditionary environment provides unique challenges many service members have not encountered while supporting the CFC.
"Personnel here are extremely busy providing services for forces throughout the region and our CFC team has to be mindful of that when scheduling events and fundraisers," said Manns, the CLDJ CFC coordinator. "We will have to be more motivated than at other stations in order to reach the goals our team has set for the 2009 CFC drive."
The camp's CFC team hopes to contact each individual at CLDJ about donating to the CFC as well as make this year's drive a memorable one.
"We want service members to say that this was the best CFC campaign they have ever witnessed and that in turn may encourage them to be more involved in future campaigns," added Manns.
Though both Finn and the camp Command Master Chief, Robert Cummings, have already made their donations to the CFC, the camp's drive will not begin until Oct. 6. During the kickoff, the camp CFC coordinators will give away free prizes that have been donated by the installation's Navy Exchange. The 2009 CFC drive will last until Dec. 1 of this year.
The mission of the CFC is to promote and support compassion 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.
Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti is located in the Horn of Africa and is the only U.S. military infrastructure located in Africa to provide a base of operations for support services. The camp is the primary base of operations for U.S. Africa Command in the Horn of Africa and supports more than 23 tenant commands.
For more information about Camp Lemonnier visit www.cnic.navy.mil/cldj.
For more news from Commander, Navy Region Europe, Africa, Southwest Asia , visit www.navy.mil/local/cnre/.