In response to uncertain financial times, Deputy Defense Secretary Ash Carter, Sept.5, announced more realistic contribution goals for the Combined Federal Campaign charity drive and expressed confidence that Defense Department employees still will find it in their hearts to contribute.
During a CFC kickoff event in the Pentagon courtyard, Carter noted that last fiscal year's DOD national capital region contributions raised more than $15.2 million, an average gift of about $515 per participant, Carter said.
"You're people whose life is filled by the opportunity to serve the rest of humanity, and this is just an extension of what you do every day," he said.
Carter acknowledged the difficulty of asking DOD employees for contributions in the wake of recent furlough and sequestration woes. But he dared to ask the question, he added, with confidence in the answer based on the fabric of the DOD family.
"You ... wake up every morning ... come to work and give to our country and the wider world in the most important way you can ... [by providing] security," Carter said. "Security is like oxygen: if you have it, you don't pay any attention, but if you don't have it, it's all you can think about."
The CFC enables military and federal government employees to contribute to any of more than 5,000 charities that not only help veterans and their families, but feed the homeless, research cutting-edge medical technology, provide global humanitarian assistance and even protect animal rights.
Carter also noted that DOD employees account for about a quarter of all donations the CFC receives.
"It's an American tradition to give. ... It's an area where we stand out," Carter said. "You have an opportunity here personally, as well as professionally, to reflect your values of service, sacrifice and duty to others."