Commentary

October 19, 2012

CFC: Find your reason to donate

Tags:
Staff Sgt. Kali L. Gradishar
Buckely AFB, Colo.


For the last six years, people have approached me during this time of year to ask if I would donate through the Combined Federal Campaign. These people caught my ear in different manners – some sat me down for a lengthy explanation of the CFC, some informed me of the CFC drive during commander’s calls, some timidly approached me with small voices barely asking the question.

While I thought the CFC was a great opportunity for others to give to a charity of choice, I admittedly have never donated through the campaign.

I think the 2012 CFC will be different for me.

I decided to be a keyworker for my unit and during the training the local campaign representative shared with those in attendance the many ways the CFC touched her life. When she offered her personal appreciation of the CFC and the charities it liaises with, I wondered if I had my own stories to tell. I won’t share her personal stories, but I can share mine.

Imagine a 6-year-old girl running around her grandparents’ house, playing as a 6 year old would. Her grandfather grabs her wrist tightly and yells at her, “Who are you, and why are you in my house?” The girl screams for her grandmother.

That was my first experience with Alzheimer’s disease, a beast that hinders memory retention, disorients its victims and can ultimately change a person’s personality.

Nine years later, I visited my grandmother on a regular Sunday outing with my mother. I was the first to walk into my grandmother’s assisted-living apartment. She looked curiously at me and spoke my mother’s name as if it was a question. She thought I was my mother. We spent the rest of that visit reviewing family photos.

Since I joined the military in 2006, I spent countless phone conversations with my paternal grandparents answering the same questions over and over. I never tired of restating where I was living and what I was doing, though, because I knew I was lucky to have grandparents who cared. My grandfather has since passed away. As for my grandmother, I still secretly enjoy the genuine surprise and excitement each time I remind her I live close to home.

For all four of my grandparents, stories told of old times waned. Help was needed to remember birthdays, holidays and appointments. For an otherwise healthy person, there is currently not much one’s doctor can do. There’s no magic pill. No amount of gingko biloba can bring back the memories already lost.

As difficult as it’s been to watch this transformation into old age, I can’t help but feel hope – especially for future generations. Astonishing medical advances are made worldwide each year. However, funding and budgeting for all things medical or otherwise are always in question.

Isn’t this why other people donate to charities and benevolent causes?

A father is diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Animal rights activists find opportunities to make facilities better for abandoned pets. An avid hiker yearns for better trails and more wildlife conservation education.

All these people have reasons to donate through the CFC.

I wonder, if I made contributions to charities that could have advanced care for Alzheimer’s patients sooner, might my own grandparents have benefitted from some experimental drug? Would that have given me an opportunity to know them better?

I cannot live in hindsight, but I can donate now to a foundation that focuses on medical advances and care in the hopes that my future children don’t have to face the same heart-wrenching experiences.

It’s high time that I donate. This year when someone asks if I’m donating to the CFC, I will answer with a hearty, “YES!” Will you?




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

Nurturing relationships and a culture of caring

DOVER AIR FORCE BASE, Del. – When life gets challenging, stressors can build and conflicts can escalate, sometimes leading to abuse. Preventing domestic abuse is fundamental to basic relationship maintenance. Partners in healthy relationships work together every day to nurture their relationship, taking care to address issues and concerns when they occur. Healthy relationships should...
 
 

Taking a stand: Help win the fight against sexual assault

WASHINGTON – Just as Airmen broke the sound barrier and pioneered new paths to space, Airmen will pioneer new ways to prevent sexual assault in the Air Force. Preventing this crime is not easy; if it were, you, Americaís Airmen, would already have eliminated it from our force. As we begin this new fiscal year,...
 
 

Gaining Altitude – Growth Opportunities for the Week

Through our character – an opportunity to reflect on important issues in our community - It is estimated that Halloween will bring in approximately $10 billion this year to the U.S. economy.  It has officially become a major holiday for Americans.  Of course everyone knows of the costumes and candy but many of us forget...
 

 
Instagram by Master Sgt. Sonny Cohrs

Online vigilance helps reduce risk

Instagram by Master Sgt. Sonny Cohrs The Air Force reminds us not to post information about deployment departures, locations, and on-going operations. However, even a simple photo of your family pet can reveal personal informat...
 
 
commissary

Giving ‘gift of groceries’? Think Commissary gift cards

No matter the occasion, Commissary gift cards are always available to help family members, friends and organizations give the gift of groceries. “Our gift cards are versatile,” said Randy Chandler, the Defense Commi...
 
 

Nurturing relationships and a culture of caring

DOVER AIR FORCE BASE, Del. – When life gets challenging, stressors can build and conflicts can escalate, sometimes leading to abuse. Preventing domestic abuse is fundamental to basic relationship maintenance. Partners in healthy relationships work together every day to nurture their relationship, taking care to address issues and concerns when they occur. Healthy relationships should...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>