USS PELELIU, At Sea - Sailors aboard amphibious assault ship USS Peleliu (LHA 5) contributed $107,000 to the 2012 Combined Federal Campaign (CFC) Sept. 1 - Dec. 15.
During the annual campaign, federal employees were offered the opportunity to donate any amount of money to support different charities. Peleliu's crew exceeded the intended goal of $70,000 as a command, an approximate 53 percent increase.
"It's unbelievable. I'm incredibly touched by the generosity of this crew," said Capt. John D. Deehr, Peleliu's commanding officer. "We set a very high goal for ourselves as a command."
The amount raised this year by Peleliu was the largest sum of money witnessed in recent history on board.
"I think Peleliu's contribution to the CFC this year was the best so far that I have seen," said Boatswain's Mate 3rd Class Markel D. Ancrum, from Charleston S.C., Deck department's CFC representative. "I know Deck department raised way more than we had before. It seemed like everyone was willing to donate this year."
This year's contributions highlighted the character of the crew, and their willingness to give to respective causes.
"Not only are they hard working, they're exceedingly generous," said Deehr. "Even in these tough financial times, they're willing to give a portion of their income to a deserving organization or cause."
According to the command CFC coordinator, Chief Aviation Boatswain's Mate (Handling) Michael Ridgeway, CFC is the only authorized solicitation of federal employees in their workplaces on behalf of more than 4,000 pre-approved charitable organizations. Peleliu volunteers represented CFC in their respective departments and divisions. This allowed for the dissemination of information about the campaign to all personnel.
"The responses were quite overwhelming," said Ridgeway. "I was really surprised at how many people wanted to participate."
The representatives explained what the campaign is and the step-by-step procedures on choosing and donating to the selected organization.
The motivation to donate is different for many Sailors.
"I feel like I'm a very fortunate person to have a steady job in the Armed Forces. It's our duty to serve so why not take care of people back home by giving a little to those in need," said Intelligence Specialist 3rd Class John J. Carmody, from Chesapeake, Va., who donated toward CFC.
The wide range of charities listed by CFC offer service members the opportunity to find a group or cause that they can relate to.
"I tell Sailors that if they take a few moments to look through the CFC book, they will find an organization that has impacted their life on a personal level. Maybe they have a relative or friend who has passed away from cancer, or who has Alzheimer's. Or maybe there is an environmental cause or charity organization that is important to them," said Deehr. "I encourage them to find those organizations and give whatever amount they feel comfortable giving. It's not the amount that is important, it's the fact that they are giving to an organization or cause that is important to them on a personal level."
Service members decide how much they are willing to donate. Their donations can be made in one sum payment or by allotment.
"You can give as little as a dollar a paycheck, which equals out to 24 dollars a year," said Carmody. "People spend more than that on useless stuff, so why not take that extra money and give it toward something like helping people."