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.


 
 

 

News Briefs October 17, 2014

M4/M9 Firing Range closure The Edwards AFB Combat Arms Firing Range is closed for M4 and M9 firing until further notice. Any required firing for PCS or deployments will temporarily be accomplished at March ARB, Calif. To schedule training, contact the Combat Arms section at 661-277-2103. It is strongly recommended that all firing be scheduled as soon...
 
 
unity

The beauty of unity

Air Force graphic by Staff Sgt. Benjamin W. Stratton What do cheeseburgers, musical groups, sports teams and the United States of America have in common? If you said “the letter ‘s,’ you’re right, but th...
 
 

Up-and-coming awards

2015 Cooke award nominations sought JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-RANDOLPH, Texas – Air Force officials are seeking nominations for the 11th Annual Department of Defense David O. Cooke Excellence in Public Administration Award. This award was created to promote, perpetuate and recognize the type of exceptional contributions David O. Cooke made to the federal service. He...
 

 
Courtesy graphic

AF releases criteria for new service medal

Courtesy graphic Graphic of the Nuclear Deterrence Operations Service Medal. WASHINGTON - Air Force officials released nomination criteria for the new Nuclear Deterrence Operations Service Medal, following Secretary of the Air...
 
 

Undergrad flying training applications due in December

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-RANDOLPH, Texas – The 2015 undergraduate flying training selection board originally scheduled for Jan. 20-23 will now convene Feb. 17-20 and associated application suspenses have shifted by approximately a month, Air Force Personnel Center officials said Oct. 10. Eligible active duty officers interested in undergraduate flying training must apply by Dec. 19...
 
 
Air Force photograph by Rebecca Amber

Bunch encourages one enterprise mindset at commanders call

Air Force photograph by Rebecca Amber Maj. Gen. Arnold Bunch Jr., Air Force Test Center commander, discussed his six strategic goals for the test center at a commanders call Oct. 14 in the base theater. Maj. Gen. Arnie Bunch, A...
 




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>