Combined Federal Campaign goal reached

Cannon Connections photo: Argen Duncan Tech Sgt. Gloria Wilson, left, and Capt. Colleen Scheelling discuss charities federal employees can donate to in the Combined Federal Campaign. So far this year, Cannon Air Force Base has raised $92,463, Scheelling said.

By Argen Duncan: PNT senior writer

Cannon Air Force Base has exceeded its donations goal for the annual Combined Federal Campaign by more than $2,000 so far this year, and people can still donate, according to CFC representatives.

The Combined Federal Campaign, instituted in 1951, consolidates charities’ solicitation of donations from federal employees, military and civilian, into one time period per year.

Wing campaign representative Capt. Colleen Scheelling said this year’s base goal was $90,000, and as of Tuesday afternoon, $92,463 had been raised. Of the approximately 3,600 people on base, she said, about 450 contributed.

That means donors gave an average of about $205, either in a one-time donation or in payroll deductions to be taken throughout the year.

Last year, about 460 people of the 2,300 on base gave a total of $73,000, surpassing a goal of $50,000, Scheelling said.

The campaign runs Sept. 1 through Dec. 15, and each federal organization chooses a six-week window to solicit donations. Cannon’s window ended Friday, but people can contribute through Dec. 15.

Group campaign representative Tech Sgt. Gloria Wilson said solicitation means 100 percent contact, not making people feel obligated to contribute.

“It’s a personal decision people make to donate to charities,” she said.

The campaign provides books with information on the more than 2,000 local, state, national and international charities involved. Charities ask to be included, and committees check to make sure they meet the Internal Revenue Service criteria for charitable organizations.

In their training, Wilson said, campaign representatives heard that although people may say they can’t give because of the hard economic times, charities need support.

“There’s a lot of people who need now,” she said.

Scheelling said charities are struggling for two reasons.

“First, because of the hard economic times, donations have gone down,” she said. “At the same time, need has increased.”

Wilson said she thinks the Combined Federal Campaign is a great thing. She has contributed throughout her military career, as well as donating outside the campaign.

“I think it’s important to do our part,” Wilson said. “And if I can, there’s no reason not to.”

Scheelling expressed similar sentiments.

“I think that we in the military are very blessed to have a great job during these times of economic stress. And there’s a lot of other people out there in desperate economic need right now,” she said, adding that she would feel remiss if she didn’t try to help.

Wilson said she was impressed by how Cannon personnel came together in donating for the campaign.