Colorado Springs Military Newspaper Group

Peterson Space Observer

‘iCan’ choose to make a difference

by Monica Mendoza

21st Space Wing Public Affairs staff writer

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. — The Pikes Peak Region is launching its 49th annual Combined Federal Campaign in October with a goal of raising $2.4 million for local, national and international charities.

CFC is the world’s largest workplace charity campaign, raising $282 million worldwide last year. The Pikes Peak Region, with its 40,000 federal employees, is among the most giving regions in the country, said Barbara Barfield, Pikes Peak Region CFC director.

“The federal employees and military personnel are unbelievably generous,” she said. “I think people in the military and federal government recognize that they might be in a better place than a lot of people.”

On Peterson Air Force Base, the CFC campaign started Oct. 5 at the Peterson Club with a fair and representatives from several charitable organizations on hand to discuss the programs that receive money from the CFC campaign.

“Our mission this year is to maximize participation,” said Master Sgt. Chad Ziegelbein, 21st Operations Support Squadron and CFC representative.

Last year, Peterson AFB met its monetary goal of raising $248,000 in pledges and had a 21 percent participation rate. Unfortunately, that participation rate fell below not only the national average, but the entire Pikes Peak region, something that the Peterson CFC representatives are trying to correct by challenging to surpass not just the amount raised, but the number of people contributing to the cause.

This year, the goal is to increase the participation rate to 25 percent for Team Pete. With this goal in view, Peterson could reach a goal of $322,000 – or a $74,000 increase over last year’s pledges, Sergeant Ziegelbein said.

“You might think this is unachievable,” he said. “But, if we get our participation rate up, we could easily do this.”

The long term goal for Peterson AFB is a 30 percent participation rate by 2012. “If we can start changing the mindset of personnel with this year’s campaign, we can be successful in our future mindset,” Sergeant Ziegelbein said.

By developing a “culture of giving,” higher participation rates translate into higher charitable donations overall and will make the biggest difference.

Across the globe, there are more than 300 CFC campaigns going on October through December. Pledges made by federal civilian, postal and military donors during the campaign season support more than 2,500 charities that provide health and human service benefits throughout the world. Federal employees can make a one-time donation or make a gift through payroll allotment; in addition, pledges are tax deductible.

In the Pikes Peak Region, about 30 percent of the donated funds go to local charities, which is about $700,000, Ms. Barfield said. About $1.6 million from the region is donated to national charities.

“Sometimes [the charities’] largest contributions come from CFC and they plan their budgets around CFC donations,” Ms. Barfield said.

Col. Stephen N. Whiting, 21st Space Wing commander, encouraged Airmen to participate in this year’s campaign during his commander’s call Sept. 28 at the base auditorium.

“If you are not in the position to give a substantial amount of money, let me challenge you to give a modest amount,” he said. “Maybe $5 a month — $5 a month could be the entry that over a career becomes a substantial contribution to your fellow citizens.”

According to this year’s CFC motto, “the ‘iCan’ theme is based on the philosophy that each and every federal employee can choose to say ‘iCan’ make a difference by giving through the CFC, and ultimately change tomorrow today.”

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