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The annual Combined Federal Campaign is getting underway at Fort Detrick, Md. The Installation will participate in the campaign from Oct. 15 through Nov. 30, offering employees seven weeks to donate to an organization of their choice.

The CFC is the only workplace-giving campaign authorized by the federal government. In 1956, President Dwight D. Eisenhower sought the development and administration of a uniform policy and program for fundraising within the federal service. Since then, the CFC has led the way for workplace giving.

This unique opportunity affords donors the ability to select an organization to support as well as the amount they wish to give. In 2011, federal workers pledged more than $272.7 million to various local, national, and international organizations. In the 51 years since the campaign was established, more than $7 billion has been donated.

“The Combined Federal Campaign is an opportunity for us to be better people,” said Maj. Gen. James K. Gilman, commanding general of the U. S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command and Fort Detrick. “It is an opportunity to continue our service and to support those who need it most, when they need it most.”

Donors can select from more than two thousand organizations as well as local overseas military communities. These organizations make up a variety of topics and interests ranging from arts to youth development and foreign affairs.

“There are thousands of organizations to select from when contributing to the CFC; that is what makes this campaign so extraordinary,” said Mary Chizmar, Western MD CFC Campaign Chair. “You have option to choose an organization that is near and dear to your heart.”

Last year, contributions from Fort Detrick donors helped such organizations as Operation Second Chance, a Washington, D.C.-area organization that provides support to Service members undergoing treatment at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, and then further assists them with their return to duty or civilian life.

The 2012 CFC kicked off Wednesday, Oct. 10. Nearly 100 people attended the event, which included a lunch prepared by the Fort Detrick Fire Department as well as door prizes and a special address from Gilman. More than 30 of the organizations that accept CFC donations were on hand, and for many, the event helped them to get to know and select an organization.

The CFC is an opportunity for members of the Fort Detrick community to give back and support those in need. If you are interested in donating to the 2012 CFC, visit http://www.westernmarylandcfc.org or speak with your unit representative.