With Thanksgiving only a week away, I think it's safe to say that the holiday season has arrived. And all around me at the Department of Transportation, people are getting into the holiday spirit by opening their hearts to help others in need.
That's because this time of year is also CFC season, when federal employees pledge themselves and rally their coworkers to contribute to the Combined Federal Campaign.
Last month I kicked-off our CFC campaign by pledging online to support Everybody Wins.
Everybody Wins is a wonderful literacy group that brings adults into the schools to read aloud to children, helping them unlock the mystery of the written word. As a former teacher, I believe improving literacy and sparking a child’s interest in reading at an early age is critical, and I have been a long-time supporter of the Everybody Wins program.
And the beauty of CFC—the world's largest and most successful annual workplace charity campaign—is that it enables people to support the charitable causes most important to them. Each year, CFC raises millions of dollars for literally thousands of different programs and causes.
All across the DOT, I have seen an outpouring of generosity this CFC season. And I’m making a personal plea to everyone to participate. It doesn't matter how much you give. It only matters that you help out in any way that you can.
Last year, we raised nearly $1.7 million for charitable causes, shattering our $1.4 million goal. This year, as I wrote on this blog last month, "Our goal is bigger because the need is greater." We’re aiming for $1.5 million in contributions, and I hope for your support in reaching that goal.
If you haven’t pledged already, there are still nearly four more weeks to go – plenty of time to get in the spirit of the season. And in case you need a little inspiration, I want to highlight what some our CFC all-stars around the Department are doing to go beyond their pledges and raise something extra for CFC charities.
MARAD has sponsored a lunchtime soup and sandwich sale, and more chili cook-offs than I can count. In coming days, FTA will host its "snack attack day." And you can't throw a rock around here without hitting a CFC bake sale or a raffle or silent auction. Earlier this week, FTA's silent auction and bake sale raised more than $1,500--that's a lot of cookies!
Volunteers serve it up at the FHWA chili cook-off
To support CFC, FHWA is taking food to a new level with a luau, an ice cream sale, and high tea, all culminating in their renowned soul food extravaganza. Today, I've got my eye on the Budget Office's annual Pie Party. Pumpkin or apple?--I'll make that decision later.
And with all the tempting food around, someone has to look out for our waistlines. Thankfully, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration sponsored the first CFC Canal Park Run/Walk.
And the FAA is having fun with charitable giving, by hosting a benefit concert and a "carnival for caring," including the ever-popular "dunk your IT support team" booth.
Whatever cause you support--I want to thank our great DOT employees for pledging to help others in need. And if you haven't pledged yet, I hope you'll add your CFC contribution to this year's campaign. Together, we can make a difference.