Belvoir agencies are joining forces with others across the government to support the annual Combined Federal Campaign. The Fort Belvoir Garrison hosted pep rally and charity fair for military, federal civilians and retirees, Oct. 16 at Specker Field House.

The event included remarks by guest speakers, Jeffrey Brown, a manager in the Resource Development department at United Way of the National Capital Area; and Gerald Gilbert, Naval Integration Branch Head, Headquarters, U.S. Marine Corps, Command, Control, Communication and Computers.

Tradition of giving

The CFC is a 58-year, federal workplace giving tradition that has raised more than $8.3 billion for charitable organizations, according to the Combined Federal Campaign of the National Capital Area website. It is one of the largest workplace giving campaigns in the world. Funds raised each fall through this campaign help neighbors in need—around the corner, across the nation and throughout the world.

Many ways to show love

“The CFC is something I really care greatly about,” said Brown. “The United Way’s efforts are based on three principals: education, financial stability and health. For education, we focus on middle school to better prepare students for high school. We provide backpacks, school supplies, clean clothes, uniforms and a lot of other things to help these kids along. If you’re not prepared in middle school, you won’t succeed in high school.

“We also offer financial empowerment centers—places where we teach people how to open a checking account, create a family budget and how to save money,” he said. “In the spring, we bring volunteers in to help them with their taxes.

The final United Way focus Brown discussed was a direct correlation between healthy nutrition and success in school. “For the most part, these kids are getting a decent breakfast and lunch Monday through Friday. But they may have a poor diet over the weekend, so they won’t be physically and mentally ready come Monday morning.” As a result, the agency’s been giving out Go Packs of healthier foods on Friday afternoons.

“I encourage everyone to give the CFC a try because, through your generosity, people’s lives are changing for the better,” Brown added. “There’s no negative about charitable giving. You never see the folks who are getting the help from your giving, but take it from me, they’re out there.”

Reach out to help

“… I have a passion for others, a giving heart and a keen understanding of how we can all impact the CFC,” said Gilbert. “Even if you only have a small amount to give, when pooled together with others, it becomes a large amount. Even if you have no money to give at all, you can volunteer your time. Even if you already have a charity you’re passionate about that you give to, I challenge you to at least visit one of these charities here today and hear their stories. You might learn something about what they do that can help someone in your family, a coworker, a friend. But whatever you do, please give.”

For more information about the Combined Federal Campaign, visit cfcnca.org or contact your agency key worker.

For more photos, visit https://www.flickr.com/photos/fort_belvoir.