By Lea Johnson
21st Space Wing Public Affairs staff writer
PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. — No one ever plans to have an emergency or need assistance from charities. However, the Waldo Canyon fire this summer taught Colorado residents tragedies can happen any time and traditionally, service members are benevolent in nature and will always support those who need it.
It’s time again to look at what can be given. The Combined Federal Campaign kicks-off Oct. 4 with a Wing War Fit run and finishes with a charity fair in The Club. Airmen will be able to visit with local charities to see what they can do to support the local area.
According to Lt. Col. James Oldenburg and 1st Lt. Susan Guinane, CFC installation project officers, they are expecting more contributions this year to local charities in light of this summer’s wild fire.
“I think the Waldo Canyon fire this summer highlighted to all of us the critical importance of these charities,” Oldenburg said. “They provide us with a safety net in challenging times. Many of us watched friends and neighbors this summer take support from different agencies as the fire displaced so many. Contributing to any of these charities can help sustain support for ourselves and our loved ones when we need it most.”
In addition to local charities, the CFC book contains more than 4,000 charities nationwide. A few examples include the American Red Cross, the Crawford House, National Public Radio, and autism research.
This year’s CFC theme is “Get Your Give Online.”
Key workers have been assigned to each squadron and will make all the materials available to those who would like to donate. However, Guinane said, the campaign is making a big push this year for Airmen to fill out their donation forms online.
Those who fill out their donation forms online will just have a few forms to print out and return to their key workers.
The 21st Space Wing Knights have some big goals to meet this year. The monetary goal has been set at $320,000 and the participation goal is 25 percent. Last year, the wing blew their goal of $315,000 out of the water and raised $324,611, but participation was only 18 percent compared to the regional average.
“We didn’t want to bump (the goal) up too high, but we did raise the goal,” Guinane said. “We’d like to get everybody involved. It’s a good opportunity to give back.”
According to Guinane, Airmen and civilians can contribute by cash or check, though many choose to have it taken out of their paychecks. “It’s easy and you don’t have to think about it,” she said.
Forms can be completed from Oct. 4 to Dec. 15 to make donations, however Oldenburg and Guinane, along with the key workers, are pushing to have most of the donations in within the first three weeks.
Cheyenne Mountain Air Force Station donations are tallied into the 21st SW total. CMAFS is hosting a triathlon Oct. 9 as their kick-off. For more information about the CMAFS kick-off contact Master Sgt. Antonio Martinez at 474-2097.