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Give: Every Day, Every Way. USDA Kicks Off the 2010 Combined Federal Campaign

Opening ceremonies for the 2010 Combined Federal Campaign held on the Patio of the U.S. Department of Agriculture in Washington, DC, on Tuesday, October 12, 2010.

Opening ceremonies for the 2010 Combined Federal Campaign held on the Patio of the U.S. Department of Agriculture in Washington, DC, on Tuesday, October 12, 2010.

Yesterday marked the official launch of the Combined Federal Campaign (CFC) at USDA for the Washington, D.C. metro area. This year, USDA has set a goal of raising just under $2 million from our employees in the national capital area. We have chosen the theme Give: Every Day, Every Way, as it resonates with the range of giving options available to employees. The kickoff was an exciting event featuring more than 20 CFC registered non-profit organizations. Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan and I led off the event by speaking movingly about the ways that non-profit organizations touch all of our lives in critical and transformative ways.

Since CFC’s inception in 1961, federal employees have contributed more than $6 billion to the non-profit community. It is the only authorized workplace charitable giving drive for employees in the federal workplace, and it continues to be the largest and most successful workplace fundraising model in the world. Over the years, the CFC has become a powerful way to help those in need.

At the event, Linda Washington with CFCNCA discussed why participating in CFC makes a difference and encouraged employees to give to the campaign. Linda was followed by Lynn Brantley, CEO of the Capitol Area Food Bank, who discussed with employees what their contributions mean to her organization. Also in attendance was Pam Loeb, with Fido’s for Freedom who held a CFC charity demonstration.

USDA employees watched a video message from President Obama. The President encouraged all federal employees to give generously to CFC this year.

Following the President’s remarks, I had the pleasure of introducing Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan who officially opened the USDA’s 2010 CFC Campaign. Deputy Secretary Merrigan commended the generosity and compassion of our employees, and encouraged them to continue their tradition of giving.

As the first phase of the kickoff drew to a close, Shannon Hamm, USDA’s 2010 CFC Campaign Manager, launched the charity fair. This fair was an excellent opportunity for employees to talk to representatives of a few of the non-profits represented in the CFC catalog. This year our charity fair featured non-profit organizations that represent animal rescue shelters, homeless shelters, food banks, environmental groups, Native American groups, and military support organizations.  The fair was a great opportunity for USDA employees to mingle with the non-profit organizations and learn first hand what their donations can do for those in need.

I encourage all USDA employees to join me in giving to the non-profit organizations of your choice during this important campaign. The size of your donations matters much less than the fact that you give on some level. Together, federal employees can provide a huge boost to the critical work of the non-profit sector. Please join me this year and Give: Every Day, Every Way.

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