Federal employees pledge $234,000 to charities

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

For Release: December 18, 2008

"Be a Star in Someone's Life," the theme for this year's federal gift-giving program, was taken to heart by federal employees in eastern Montana, who raised more than $234,203 during the past three months for local, state, national and international charities.

The Combined Federal Campaign brings all federal fund-raising efforts under the umbrella of a single campaign conducted once a year on behalf of thousands of charitable organizations. Since 2001, federal employees in eastern Montana have contributed about $1.8 million to non-profit groups.

"The generous contributions given by federal employees will greatly help the less fortunate in our community, especially during tough economic times," said Reclamation's Regional Director Mike Ryan. During the six-week campaign employees from 50 government offices in 36 counties across eastern Montana participated in the program.

"The average gift per participant was an astounding $384," said Debbie West, with the United Way of Yellowstone County, the agency that provides support and oversight for the program.

According to West, the U.S. Postal Service and Bureau of Reclamation led the way in contributions, with employees donating more than $67,000.

"Even during these difficult times, it was still a great year for the campaign," said Ryan. "The Bureau of Reclamation always stands out in the Big Sky campaign in the openhanded way we give and show our support."

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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.