Lynn Asks Department to Unite for Charitable Giving
By Lisa Daniel
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Sep. 21, 2011 Deputy Defense Secretary William J. Lynn III today led the start of the annual Combined Federal Campaign, challenging Defense Department workers to “make history” with their annual charitable giving during this year’s 50th anniversary drive.
“The department has a history of being out in front, of leading the pack for the federal government, and I’m confident this year will be no different,” Lynn, DOD’s vice chair for the campaign, told CFC leaders at a campaign kickoff event in the Pentagon.
Last year, contributors gave $110 million to the campaign, which serves more than 4,000 charities, Michael L. Rhodes, the CFC’s director for administration and management, said.
President John F. Kennedy created the campaign with an executive order in 1961, and it since has raised $7 billion for charities, Lynn said.
“The vision President Kennedy had has inspired half a century of giving, enriching lives of millions of people across the country and the world,” Lynn said. “Each year, I am amazed by the generosity of those across the department and proud of our colleagues who willingly donate a portion of their earnings.”
DOD civilians and service members averaged giving a record $489 each last year, and Lynn said they will need to work harder this year due to a decreasing pool of donors. An individual’s weekly giving may seem small, he said, but multiplied by the department’s workforce of 3 million, “the end result is impressive.”
To meet this year’s $14.2 million goal for the department, Lynn said, “We’re each going to have to work a bit harder and a bit longer than we did last year,” he said. “We’re going to have to reinforce to our colleagues that their contributions are a vehicle for good. Each dollar we raise is a down payment on making America and the world a better place.”
A year after creating the CFC, Kennedy called charitable giving “a unique American accomplishment that represents the best kind of American tradition,” Lynn said.
“We must ensure that the CFC lives up to these words,” he said. “We must carry forward this uniquely American tradition. We must continue to live the deepest values of this department: service, sacrifice and duty to others. Let us make 2011 another record year of charitable giving. Let us all come together to do something great.”