Federal employees inject cash into local charities

Media Contact: Michael Odle, (406) 247-7609

For Release: October 27, 2008

The holiday season is traditionally a time for giving, and local federal employees remain true to that spirit as they crusade to raise nearly a quarter-million dollars for worthy causes in Montana. More than 6,000 federal employees from 50 government offices in 36 counties across Montana kicked off this year's Combined Federal Campaign (CFC) on October 6.

"Once again, federal employees are showing their commitment to our community through the CFC," said Reclamation's Regional Director Mike Ryan. "The CFC is a longstanding priority for government and we're asking our federal civilians, postal workers and military service members to make the 2008 campaign the most successful one ever."

Many charitable groups in Montana depend on CFC donations to augment their operations throughout the year. One of those organizations, Billings Food Bank, received more than $13,000 last year through the CFC. "The money raised through the campaign is an important part of our ability to provide assistance to all those that ask," said Sheryl Shandy, Billings Food Bank Executive Director. "We have come to rely on the generosity of federal employee through the CFC."

Since 2001, federal employees in Montana have contributed about $1.5 million to charities. More than $230,000 was raised during the 2007 campaign, benefitting 66 nonprofit organizations in the state.

"Federal employees in Montana never let the community down when it comes to their generosity in support of charitable organizations," said Bureau of Indian Affairs Regional Director Edward Parisian. "Giving to these non-profit agencies helps us give back to the communities in which we live."

Government employees are able to allocate a portion of their paycheck to any number of charitable organizations during the campaign.

"There is no doubt in my heart and in my mind that all of the charities really appreciate what the federal employees do for them," said Debbie West, with United Way of Yellowstone County. This year, West is working with federal agencies to raise $240,000 for non-profit organizations.

The CFC is the largest and most successful federal workplace charity campaign authorized by the federal government. Each year, donations by federal, postal and military donors help to raise millions of dollars to support a variety of non-profit organizations providing health and human service benefits to their communities and throughout the nation.

CFC's tradition of commitment to the community was established in 1961, as an effective and meaningful way to voluntarily reach out and touch the lives of people who really need help.

By allowing employees to select from a single guide and make their contributions through payroll deductions, the CFC opens the door to more opportunities for generous giving to hundreds of charitable groups.

Participating federal agencies include the Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps, Agriculture Research Service, Bureau of Land Management, Bureau of Reclamation, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, Bureau of Indian Affairs, Comptroller of the Currency, Farm Services Agency, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Fish and Wildlife Service, General Service Administration, Indian Health Services, Internal Revenue Service, National Weather Service, Natural Resource Conservation Service, Office of Disability Adjustment, Office of the Solicitor, Railroad Retirement Board, Risk Management Agency, Rural Development, Social Security Administration, Transportation Security Administration, , U.S. Attorney, U.S. Border Patrol, U.S. Forest Service, U.S. Geological Survey, U.S. Postal Service, Veterans Administration, and the Western Area Power Administration.

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Reclamation is the largest wholesale water supplier and the second largest producer of hydroelectric power in the United States, with operations and facilities in the 17 Western States. Its facilities also provide substantial flood control, recreation, and fish and wildlife benefits. Visit our website at www.usbr.gov and follow us on Twitter @USBR.

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Five federal agency heads gather to fill out their Combined Federal Campaign contributions forms.