By Terri Moon Cronk of American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Jan. 31, 2011 - For the second straight year, Defense Department employees donated or pledged more than $17 million in the Combined Federal Campaign, Deputy Defense Secretary William J. Lynn III said today.
"[Dr. Martin Luther King] was devoted to enhancing the lives of others and expanding opportunities for all," Lynn said. "Dr. King once remarked, 'Life's persistent and urgent question for all was, 'What are you doing for others?' Over the course of the past year, thousands across the department have answered that question."
Even in today's time of economic challenges and hardships, Lynn noted, Defense CFC donors made sacrifices.
"The department as a whole is not immune to tough economic realities," he said. "While we confront these hardships, there are those out there for whom the times are even tougher. In these challenging times, their struggles are a challenge to us all."
That, he added, makes the "compassion of giving by those in this room and throughout the department all the more admirable."
Lynn told the audience their philanthropy led the CFC to another resounding success. The $17.2 million raised by DOD employees, Lynn said, "underscores the department's culture and tradition of charity, and these contributions will have a real impact on real people."
Defense employees, Lynn added, donated 10 percent more than the average federal worker in this year's campaign.
"Each one of you is responsible for helping feed the hungry. Each one of you is essential for helping house the homeless. Each one of you ensures expanded access to education, and lifts up those less fortunate than ourselves," he said.
Lynn noted the campaign also lent a hand to members of the military.
"Your charitable efforts are vital to improving the lives of wounded service members and their families," he said. "The results of your efforts are very real and very powerful. You are all remarkable individuals and organizations who came together for a common, noble cause."
CFC is the world's largest workplace charity campaign. Pledges made by federal civilian, postal and military donors support eligible nonprofit organizations that provide health and human service benefits worldwide.
William J. Lynn III
Combined Federal Campaign