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Environmental Factor, October 2012

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NIEHS kicks off CFC and boosts pledge goal

By Eddy Ball

Claire Long

Co-chair Long is located on the second floor of the main building B-module, room 222. (Photo courtesy of Steve McCaw)

Scott Redman

Co-chair Redman also works in the Rall Building, room B213. (Photo courtesy of Steve McCaw)

The great chili chefs of NIEHS were back on the job Sept. 18, as the Institute kicked off its 2012 Greater North Carolina Combined Federal Campaign (CFC) drive. Working from tables set up in the main building’s lobby, volunteers served up virtually every imaginable iteration of chili as part of a drive to raise $115,000 in charitable pledges from NIEHS employees, by the conclusion of the campaign Dec. 15.

CFC at NIEHS is part of the world’s largest workplace giving campaign. When Director of the Office of the CFC Keith Willingham, spoke to federal employees as the 2012 drive began in Washington, D.C., Sept. 1, he said, “2011 was not only the 50th anniversary of the creation of the CFC by President John F. Kennedy — it also marked the first time total pledges have exceeded $7 billion since the inception of the CFC.”

That total included $113,000 in 2011 pledges by NIEHS employees, part of a total of $272 million in pledges from almost one million federal employees.  

New leadership for 2012 drive

This year’s coordinators are Office of Management employees Claire M. Long, a member of Associate Director for Management Joellen Austin’s staff, and John S. Redman of the Financial Management Branch. Like their predecessors, they will enjoy the enthusiastic support of NIEHS/NTP Director Linda Birnbaum, Ph.D., who opened the cook-off by welcoming employees to the opening of the 2012 campaign and encouraging everyone at NIEHS to participate.

“Even in this tremendously tight economy,” Birnbaum said, “people are really, really understanding that there are those in our community who need help.” She emphasized that pledges, one-time gifts, and even loose change in the CFC jars on campus add up and translate into help for those who need it.

Birnbaum urged employees to look through the CFC Charity List, with its 2,861 approved charities, ranging from hometown relief organizations, such as the Durham Rescue Mission, to large international efforts. The list supplies information about each charity, including the percentage of revenue it devotes to administrative costs.

Advantages of giving through CFC

Birnbaum referred to several of the five compelling reasons for making a pledge through CFC, listed by John Berry, director of the Office of Personnel Management (OPM), which oversees the national CFC campaign:

  • It offers payment by payroll deduction, which lets employees spread their contributions across the entire year.
  • It gives charities a steady source of revenue throughout the year.
  • It has low overhead costs, so more money goes to the charity.
  • It is convenient for employees, who can pledge online and have documentation for their tax records.
  • It shows all Americans that federal employees care about their communities.

April Cook and her companion service dog, Claire

Disabled veteran April Cook was on hand to show off her companion service dog, Claire, and encourage pledges to Paws4Vets (CFC19324), which trained the dog and presented it to her free of charge. Cook served four tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, and she credits Claire with helping her cope with war-related anxiety and other effects of post-traumatic stress. (Photo courtesy of Steve McCaw)

Dick Sloane, Roger Callahan, and Miranda Bernhardt

The NIEHS band was on hand to provide background music. Horn players, from left to right, Dick Sloane, Roger Callahan, and Miranda Bernhardt entertained employees at the kick-off event. (Photo courtesy of Steve McCaw)

Linda Birnbaum, Ph.D.

As the rain fell outside, Birnbaum spoke to employees about the need to help neighbors in need at home and abroad. (Photo courtesy of Steve McCaw)

CFC representative Rob Roy, Bill Quattlebaum, and Claire Long

The event featured plenty of chili and drew a stream of hungry people eager to sample it. Serving at this end of the table were, left to right, CFC representative Rob Roy, along with NIEHS employees Bill Quattlebaum and Long. (Photo courtesy of Steve McCaw)

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