Marines

CFC begins aboard Lejeune

16 Aug 2007 | Lance Cpl. Patrick M. Fleischman

It’s that most wonderful time of the year.

No not Christmas; the 2007 Combined Federal Campaign begins here Sept. 3.

The 2006 CFC generated $712,342.38 in donations for non-profit organizations, but this year the campaign is hoping to net more than $1 million, said Kristi Halstead, director of the Onslow County’s CFC.

“These charities either touch us, and friends and our family’s lives in some way and these donations are necessary to keep them going,” said Halstead.

One change to the campaign to increase donation turn out is the introduction of the Give Smart Cards Program, said Halstead.

The card, good until next year’s campaign, provides discounts to local businesses such as restaurants, coffee shops, gym memberships and other entertainment, she continued.

“We wanted to create a program that gives something back to a group of people who have been giving so much,” she said.

In addition to the cards, the group is hoping that a little healthy competition will bring some more donations.

“Fort Bragg’s population of 49,788 had 24,014 donors with a total dollar amount donation of $2,229,528.59,” said Halstead. “We want to grow our campaign this year to at least half that.”

Although the donation amount may have been less than the Fort Bragg’s, Camp Lejeune’s donations have grown substantially from last year, and Lejeune has been recognized for that, said Halstead.

The Office of Personnel Management and Earth Share of North Carolina, a federation of environmental non-profit organizations, awarded Camp Lejeune’s CFC for growing donations 53 percent from last year, moving it up from a small campaign of less than $500,000 to a medium campaign of more than $500,000, she continued.

“We hope that Lejeune can receive another award for moving the campaign into the large bracket of more than $1 million this year,” said Halstead.

A big motivation to increase donor turnout will come from the support of local businesses, she explained.

This year’s CFC Kickoff will have local business sponsorship providing free lunch, prizes and music, she said. Also, more than 20 charities will be there to introduce themselves directly in the exchange parking lot here Aug. 31, she said.

“The community’s businesses have been wonderful in supporting the military and federal workers with supplying free food and taking the time out to support the new Give Smart Card program,” said Halstead.

“If everyone we solicited this year donates at least three dollars a month, we would easy surpass our $1 million goal,” concluded Halstead.

For more information on the upcoming campaign visithttp://www.lejeune.usmc.mil/mcb/cfc.asp or call 451-3212, ext. 263.