Commentary

November 9, 2012

CFC: An opportunity to be the change you wish to see in the world

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Senior Airman Kristin Estevane
412th Operations Support Squadron


As we end the near of this year’s Combined Federal Campaign Nov. 14, it is always an honor and a pleasure to be able to seize the opportunity to congratulate everyone on launching this outstanding fundraising campaign in which many organizations are involved in. Our donations at Edwards alone for fiscal year 2011 amounted to $489,000 and earned the second highest percentage in Air Force Materiel Command.

During each campaign, most wonder what my inspiration to get involved with the CFC is every year. For me, it’s not for an evaluation performance report bullet or tax write-off, while both sound like very good reasons. I strive to meet this next quote with full sincerity: “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” – Mohandas Gandhi.

The way I feel I can better live out these words is through my platform, which is the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, Great Strides Movement. Cystic fibrosis is an autosomal recessive genetic disorder affecting 1 in 2,000 births. A higher number than most usually expect.

My childhood friend and brother-in-spirit has cystic fibrosis. As a child, my mother warned me to take it easy with him and don’t make fun of him for being small and be careful not to play too hard. It did not make sense. He had to take medicine with every meal and perform breathing treatments every night and often visited the hospital. When we asked my mom what was happening with him why was he sick, she just replied “He is special and gets sick often, he cannot process his food and he has a hard time breathing.” She eventually told us that we would not see Cameron after he was a teenager.

I thought maybe his family had plans to move away. Turns out Cameron’s expiration date was thirteen years of age. He was already time stamped with fate as a toddler. The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation would not take that for an answer.

Fast forward a couple years and he is now 19 years old and thriving. His new “expiration date” is mid-thirties. Yet again, this foundation is diligently working to increase the longevity and quality of life for those suffering with cystic fibrosis. Recent advances in the treatment of cystic fibrosis have meant that an individual affected can live a fuller life less encumbered by their condition.

Ninety cents of every dollar goes directly towards modern science and medical equipment. Our goal, through research, is to provide new and better medicine. To achieve this noble goal, we have organized a 5K charity for the local chapter but most importantly, we can contribute through the Combined Federal Campaign at our own pace and at a rate we can afford for the greater good. I am a Senior Airman with a single income household. I make $3,040 a month after taxes. After my CFC contribution I still have $3,000 dollars. It’s not that unfathomable. If I can afford comfortably $40 a month, what can you afford? Think of it this way — 4 less packs of cigarettes or 3 less 6-packs of beer, or one less manicure a month to aid those fighting to live. Seems like a fair trade.

The beauty of the Combined Federal Campaign is the opportunity to choose your own platform, something that speaks to you personally. More than 2,400 national and international federations’ charities and some 25,000 local charities qualify for the CFC each year. To participate, these charities must meet strict eligibility standards. Many national and international charities affiliate with federations, groups that have come together – often because of common interests or goals – to maximize their efficiency and effectiveness in workplace fundraising and related efforts. You can find the list of these charities in the CFC Pamphlet. It is truly as easy as filling out the simple sign-up sheet. Just write your personal information, find the cause of your choice, which will have a code identifier, and decide how much you would like to contribute.

In a world that needs great changes, we are directly or indirectly responsible for the future of this world. Today, we are often constrained to our own domestic affairs. We think of our own future, with hopes at the time of a recession. Those in need have to fight for their everyday needs; they have few resources to struggle against their extreme sickness or poverty. We Airman with a capital A are healthy, strong, intelligent and blessed. Share your good graces, because life is so beautiful.
Our mutual efforts, our support – together, we can fulfill our duty of cherishing and possibly saving a human life.




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