LACKLAND AIR FORCE BASE, Texas –
"We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give."
It's appropriate that this Sir Winston Churchill quote is associated with the 2010 Combined Federal Campaign, especially because it can easily be tied to the amount of money raised by Lackland for this year's Joint Base San Antonio CFC.
When the campaign closed Wednesday, military servicemembers and civilian federal employees gave more than 2 million reasons why the 2010 CFC has been a success.
The final tally was $2.159 million, which surpasses the goal set when the drive began in mid-September.
"It's not all about the goal, it's how much we raised to help people," said 1st Lt. Aaron Blackburn, Lackland CFC project officer. "This was the first time with a joint base (concept) where the units participated under one cause, one plan and one grade, "It's gone really well."
Nearly 25 percent of the Lackland contributions, almost $450,000, came from trainees in basic military training. It was a number not lost on Tech. Sgt. Jeffrey Bell, who along with Tech. Sgt. Ruth Presto, assisted with the campaign's data entry.
"These were trainees who have really not experienced the Air Force life and culture, yet over 50 percent were willing to give something," Sergeant Bell said.
Lt. Col. Kara Neuse, 802nd Mission Support Group deputy commander and a CFC campaign leader, said that even in this economy, Lacklanders looked for a reason to make a CFC contribution.
"People really looked at the charities (they gave to) to see if they were under the umbrella of the CFC," Colonel Neuse said. "What's great about Lackland being the Gateway to the Air Force is we (are able to show) hundreds of new Airmen throughout this campaign that from Day One, part of our Air Force culture is giving back."
Master Sgt. R. Monique Slater, 802nd MSG CFC leader, found working the campaign to be both informative and enlightening.
"I hadn't been involved at this level and it does give me another insight," Sergeant Slater said.
"People want to give; they just don't know who they want to give to. I had to familiarize myself with the charities so I could help people make a decision."
For Tech. Sgt. Ronnson Norris, it wasn't just about the money that was raised.
"What I found amazing was not only people donating their monies but also donating a lot of their time," said Sergeant Norris, who coordinated the campaign's financials. "It was neat to see the seed being planted and watching it grow."
The three joint base installations combined to collect more than $4 million in this year's CFC, almost 10 percent of the national goal.