On Sept. 21, NIEHS stood with government agencies around the country to usher in the 2020 Combined Federal Campaign (CFC), a national charity effort led by federal employees to support Americans in need.
“The NIEHS family has an opportunity to really make a difference in our community, with so many people being evicted from their homes, losing their jobs, and going to food banks,” said NIEHS and National Toxicology Program Director Rick Woychik, Ph.D. “This year of all years, let’s all step up and ‘Show Some Love’ for our neighbors.”
“Show Some Love” is the theme of this year’s campaign, which runs through Jan. 15, 2021. NIEHS hopes to raise a total of $50,000. CFC includes 24,000 charities for employees to choose among.
Same mission, new platform
The CFC mission is to support philanthropy through a cost-efficient and effective program that provides all federal workers the chance to support charitable causes that they choose. In years past, employees could meet these organizations at a variety of in-person events. This fall’s campaign, by contrast, will take place exclusively online because of COVID-19.
“Zoom is our friend,” said John Schelp, an outreach specialist with the NIEHS Office of Science Education and Diversity and a co-chair on this year’s campaign. “Just because many of us are staying at home doesn’t mean we can’t act. It’s up to all of us to leverage the virtual tools that we have to help spread the word about the amazing charities right here at home who desperately need our help.”
No change to ease of use
One thing that has not changed is the ease with which employees can get involved. “Many of these charities have had to lay off staff as the result of the pandemic, so volunteering an hour or more of time is one way our employees can help out,” said co-chair and Robin Arnette, Ph.D., from the NIEHS Office of Communications and Public Liaison.
“Employees can also give monetary donations, either as a one-time gift or by setting up payroll deductions for as little as two dollars a pay period,” she explained.
Troy Deaton, from the NIEHS Office of Information Technology, is also a co-chair on this year’s campaign. “I just can’t stress enough the importance of everyone participating in the CFC,” he said.
During his many years of active duty in the U.S. Air Force, Deaton served as a CFC keyworker, helping to organize events to drum up support for the program. He was also an aid recipient of the Fisher House Foundation, a CFC charity that helps military families.
NIEHS employees seeking more information on how to get involved with the CFC are encouraged to visit the institute’s internal website. The general public can learn more by visiting the CFC homepage on the Office of Personnel Management website.
(Ian Thomas is a public affairs specialist with the Office of Communications and Public Liaison, and a regular contributor to the Environmental Factor.)