From the November 2015 issue of Goddard View
When a 7.2-magnitude earthquake struck Haiti in 2010, more than 250,000 people were killed and about 300,000 were injured. Nearly 1.5 million people lost their homes.
In the wake of the nation’s deadliest disaster in modern history, nonprofit organizations from all over the world stepped up to provide temporary shelter, field hospitals and other relief for Haitian residents.
With his own family in need of help, Jean-Marie Jean-Pierre – assistant chief for acquisition in the information technology and communications directorate at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center – recalls how donations given through the Combined Federal Campaign helped the Caribbean country through one of its most trying times.
“A big part of my love for Goddard stems from the fact that so many employees contributed to help Haiti,” said Jean-Pierre during Goddard’s 2015 CFC kickoff event on Oct. 26. “Sometimes, it may be hard to relate to those who are impacted by life-changing events. We may never know such people personally or know their pain, but we must remember that one never knows what the future holds.”
Through the annual charitable giving program, federal employees can donate money to more than 24,000 local, domestic and international charities. The campaign covers countless causes, including disaster relief, environmental protection, health care, housing and youth development.
The kickoff featured a skit by kindergarten students from the Goddard Child Development Center to encourage donations, as well as a raffle for University of Maryland Terrapins football tickets. Representatives from about 20 charities also spoke about their respective causes.
“These charities share a vision for making the world a safer and better place for all,” said Annece Perry, CFC deputy executive director for the National Capital Area, which covers Washington, D.C., and surrounding areas in Maryland and Virginia. “Our theme is ‘We Make It Possible,’ because that’s exactly what we do.”
The early stages of the CFC began in 1961, when thenPresident John F. Kennedy authorized the U.S. Civil Service Commission to develop guidelines and regulate fundraising in the federal service. In 1982, an executive order from then-President Ronald Reagan created the modern CFC under the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.
The CFC has raised more than $7 billion to date. Goddard employees raised $492,000 in 2014, and this year the center has set a fundraising goal of at least $495,000.
“This is a time when the Goddard community shows its generosity and compassion for others,” said Center Director Chris Scolese.
The 2015 campaign runs through Dec. 15. Contributions are tax-deductible and entirely voluntary.
“This is our opportunity to extend our civil servant duties further by giving back to the charities that we are passionate about,” added Myra Bambacus, Goddard’s CFC campaign manager.
In addition to the kickoff, Goddard held a football bash on Nov. 13 featuring a live band, a charity fair, and a raffle for Baltimore Ravens and Navy Football tickets. Donations for the event were given to CFC-sponsored charities.
For more information on the Combined Federal Campaign, visit the website of the Combined Federal Campaign of the National Capital Area at www.cfcnca.org.