The 2011 Combined Federal Campaign, the world's largest workplace charity organization, has started to accept donations from the Airmen of the 128th Air Refueling Wing, and will continue to collect donations until November 30, 2011.
"The mission of the CFC, which was established by President John F. Kennedy in 1961, is to promote and support philanthropy through a program that is employee focused, cost-efficient, and effective in providing all federal employees the opportunity to improve the quality of life for all," according to the campaign's website.
To donate to the CFC, Airmen can choose a specific charity, or they can make an unnamed donation that will be used where and when it is needed, said Chief Master Sgt. Patti Winter-Schmidt, the 128 ARW component maintenance flight superintendent.
Chief Winter-Schmidt has been a part of the CFC since 1984, and she has been in charge of collecting donations from the 128th Air Refueling Wing since 1996.
"I like the end results of the CFC and the United Way, especially if we're helping the local community," she said.
Donations can be made to local, state, national, or international organizations such as Habitat for Humanity, local food pantries, and, with regard to the 128 ARW, the Wing's Airmen and Family Aid Program. This year's goal is to raise $42,600, and last year, the Wing raised $41,800, said Chief Winter-Schmidt.
"Every little bit helps," she said. "We're helping each other. That's the main thing."
The CFC is managed by the United Way, and the donations are made accessible to charitable organizations as soon as possible, said Chief Winter-Schmidt. To be included in the United Way's catalog of organizations, the organization's administrative fees cannot exceed 25% of the donated amount. That is to say if a recipient has a 10% administrative fee cost, it will keep a dime for every dollar donated.
The 128th Air Refueling Wing has a strong record of multiple donors; up to 70% of the full-time workforce has consistently contributed to charitable organizations, Chief Winter-Schmidt said.
"Forty percent of the funds we take in go toward the [128 ARW] Airmen and Family Aid Program," she said.
Elaine Schachelmayer, the 128th Air Refueling Wing's Airman and Family Readiness Program manager, had further insight in the use of donated funds.
"The donations that we collect on behalf of the CFC first provide aid to regional areas," she said. "From those proceeds, we get a smaller percentage that comes right back to us."
Schachelmayer said the Airmen and Family Aid Program's funds are used for emergency situations, various on-base events, morale, and Airmen well-being.
"We'd like to focus more, in the coming year, on youth," she said. "We'd also like to provide assistance for college or technical school tuitions [for Wing members]."
Local charities contribute to the Milwaukee, Racine, Kenosha, and Waukesha communities, Chief Winter-Schmidt said.
"We have the ability to help the community beyond the walls of the 128th," said Schachelmayer.
There are 11 key workers for the CFC in all of the functional areas of the Wing, and Chief Winter-Schmidt urges interested Airmen to seek out their area's key worker. Donations can be made with either cash or check, and for full-time Airmen, there's a payroll deduction option. For more information on the CFC, visit http://www.greaterwicfc.org
. The donation code for the 128th Air Refueling Wing Airman and Family Aid Program is 24587.