Every year one event comes around for seven weeks that helps federal employees donate to charities. The program is the Combined Federal Campaign and is scheduled to kickoff Monday and run through Nov. 9.
During the campaign, representatives from each squadron, called key workers, will contact people in their unit to talk about how to contribute.
“This year the Luke Air Force Base goal is $250,000,” said Maj. Jeremy Hedges, 308th Fighter Squadron assistant director of operations and CFC project officer. “We also have a goal of 100-percent meaningful contact, meaning each person is approached by a key worker, given a thorough explanation of what CFC is and does for the community and instructed on how to donate.”
Members have options on how to donate. Donations by cash or check are accepted, but the majority of members of Team Luke choose to donate by payroll deduction.
“To donate you can fill out the form given to you by your key worker,” Hedges said.
In addition to individual donations, Luke members can donate as a group.
“Another way to donate to the CFC is a group donation,” Hedges said. “A squadron can pursue any fundraising ideas and then donate those proceeds to CFC as the squadron.”
The opportunity for giving is not only for military members but all federal employees.
“The campaign for Maricopa County includes the post offices, military bases and other federal agencies,” said Abel Perales, Maricopa County CFC director.
Last year federal employees from across the county donated more than $1.5 million dollars for CFC.
“Last year we did well, but we want to do better,” Perales said. “Our goal this year is $1.6 million, and we are going to need everyone’s help to achieve that.”
Donating may seem difficult to some, Hedges said, especially with a struggling economy.
“Donating even a little helps,” he said. “The CFC campaign’s motto for 2012 is ‘Give a Little, Help a Lot.’ Members are encouraged to donate what they can, but if each person on Luke gave $6.25 a pay period that’s $150 for the year 2013. If we got that kind of response from everyone we would shatter our goal of $250,000.”
According to the CFC website, $5 a pay period provides 40 nights of shelter for the homeless. With thousands of charities one can donate to, the possibilities of finding a cause to help are endless.
Not only can you help out CFC by giving to your community, you can help out yourself. Among all the charities available, donating to a select group of them makes you eligible to apply for a tax credit. Members at Luke could donate to these select charities and get their $150 back in next year’s taxes.
“There are local charities that if filed in a person’s taxes can give a tax credit,” said the website www.azdor.gov/taxcredits. “The credit can be up to $200 for the year per person, or $400 if filing a joint return.”
For more information or to donate to the CFC, call a unit key worker or make a pledge online at www.maricopacfc.org.