Give to the Combined Federal Campaign
(This article first appeared in the September-October 2016 issue of The American Postal Worker magazine.)
The Combined Federal Campaign (CFC) is the world’s largest and most successful workplace charity drive, raising millions of dollars each year – more than $7 billion since its inception. The CFC gives postal and federal employees the opportunity each year to make tax-deductible donations to one or several of their favorite charities through payroll deduction.
Pledges made during the fundraising season (Sept. 1 to Dec.15) support an estimated 22,000 eligible nonprofit organizations that provide health and human service benefits throughout our nation and the world. Postal employees must be granted time to participate on-the-clock during the campaign season within a six-week period designated for their area.
In addition to making our neighborhoods and our nation better when we contribute to CFC, the fundraising period presents each of us with an opportunity to improve the lives of fellow postal workers. The Postal Employees Relief Fund (PERF) provides financial assistance to APWU members as well as other postal employees and retirees who suffer unimaginable losses when their homes are severely damaged or destroyed by natural disasters or house fires.
Imagine losing everything you have worked for in one unforgiving instant. None of us are exempt. In the past year alone, 41 states have endured tornados, floods, hurricanes, wildfires or other natural disasters. Hundreds of postal workers, retirees and their families have been left devastated in their wake – displaced from their homes.
Supported and administered by all employee unions and the Postal Service, PERF is one of the tax-exempt charitable organizations employees can designate during the campaign (#10268). Your generosity helps eligible survivors immediately following catastrophes, when they need it most. Recipients can use the aid to procure a new residence, purchase new clothes and other necessities that we rely upon in our day-to-day lives but often take for granted. A small bi-weekly donation truly helps make a difference.
Fundraising Success Threatened
Despite historic achievements, the success of fundraising this season and in the future is threatened because of regulatory changes imposed by the Office of Personal Management (OPM), which now requires “paperless” campaigns. Compounded by a waning commitment from the USPS to dedicate resources to the cause, these issues could have devastating effects on charities big and small and the people who depend on them.
To help minimize the impact, APWU local and state leaders should contact their USPS District Office to ensure their district is hosting a campaign and to create opportunities that encourage member participation within the district’s designated fundraising period.
We are also urging union representatives to participate in district and facility CFC Steering Committees to ensure the USPS is widely publicizing the drive to all of our members and co-workers, regardless of their office, and that every employee is granted an opportunity to give during their work hours. (See USPS Publication 530.)
Promotional Materials Available
New PERF postcards and DVDs are available to APWU local and state organizations to distribute during their district’s Combined Federal Campaign. These items can be obtained in limited quantities at no charge while supplies last, through the APWU Human Relations Department (202-842-4270) or by contacting PERF. Allow two weeks for delivery. To learn more about the CFC, visit opm.gov/combined-federal-campaign or to donate to PERF directly or to obtain an application and information to seek assistance, visit postalrelief.com.
Your commitment to help our displaced postal brothers and sisters weather their crisis is appreciated by those who help them and, most importantly, by those who benefit from your generosity. I hope each of you will pledge to make a difference.