Alejandro Holguin is the command’s program manager for the Combined Federal Campaign (CFC). CFC is a federally sanctioned fundraising campaign allowing federal employees and contractors to donate money to a list of approved charities through payroll deductions and direct donations. For more about CFC, read CFC Begins Overseas.
Every year we see this campaign running, but for some people the impact of it is not really tangible. I want to share my personal experience with all of you and hopefully illustrate how we can actually make a difference in someone’s life, which indirectly will translate into making a difference in your life.
In December of 2000, my niece was diagnosed with Leukemia; it was the most devastating news for our family. Immediately we all started to look for treatment options, support groups, other families in similar situations, etc. We were able to find several support organizations, to include St Jude Children’s hospital that specialized in treating the type of Leukemia my niece was suffering. We all became members of the National Marrow Donor Program, contacted numerous research centers, and visited every webpage about the disease in an effort to find help.
Unfortunately, in July 2001 after numerous treatments and efforts to save her, my niece passed away. She left us, but we were able to find support in all of these organizations that work not only in providing support to the patients and family but also in researching cure and treatments.
Although this may sound like a sad end to a story, we had chosen to make it our happy beginning. My niece (Isabella) is gone, but what she and our family experienced is re-lived every day by thousands of families across the globe, not only suffering Leukemia, but any type of disease or condition. These organizations play a crucial role in supporting and helping them, and because of their existence there are thousands of lives saved every year and in our case we were still able to find hope, comfort, and the realization of the importance of supporting others in similar situations.
I am not writing this to get you to donate to any specific charity; I am doing it so you can see how any of us could be put in a situation where we will be the ones in need of support from any of these organizations. We have the tendency of thinking, “We have insurance and enough money saved in the bank to cover us for anything that may happen.” Trust me, most of the time it is not enough, and it is not about money but about finding support, answers and most importantly HOPE. That is what you give when you participate in the CFC — not just money but hope for our community and fellow human beings!!!!!
Unfortunately for my family it took an event of this magnitude to realize this — that our support is what will help us or others and that we can all together make a difference in our lives or someone else’s life. Please do not wait for something like this to happen to you in order to realize this…Start now.
With 4 weeks before the CFC is officially over, we can still make a difference, Go online or contact your CFC rep for your pledge cards to donate.
Contractors, you can also participate in our campaign!!!!
Contact your unit representative or go online to www.cfcoverseas.org to donate or find out more.