Covid-19 Makes CFC Donations More Urgent Than Ever
NIH is urging staffers to “Be the Face of Change” and generously support this year’s Combined Federal Campaign, with the ongoing pandemic creating an even greater need for many of the services provided by the CFC’s 6,000 charities worldwide.
Keeping with NIH tradition, Jessica Herrera of NIAID opened the program by singing the national anthem.
In his inspiring kickoff message, NIH director Dr. Francis Collins asked NIH staff to dig deep to support the campaign in its 60th year of operation.
“The CFC is an amazing opportunity to make a collective impact and improve the lives of others,” he said, “so I encourage you to support the charities of your choice.”
Collins suggested staff consider donating to organizations that reduce poverty and homelessness, advance health research, aid veterans, meet the needs of children, improve education, protect animal welfare or are devoted to other worthy causes.
This year’s CFC goal has been set at $1 million, a number that NIH more than doubled last year, despite the pandemic.
FIC is the lead institute/center for this year’s campaign and its director Dr. Roger Glass appealed to NIH staff to take a global perspective.
“We have come to recognize that this pandemic affects all of us—in every corner of the world—with the most vulnerable suffering the greatest,” he said. “This is our chance to help those in need by making a donation to the CFC. Every dollar counts, and no pledge is too large or too small.”
The event highlighted the nonprofit Hopkins Breast Cancer Inc. Founder Donna Hopkins—a breast cancer survivor herself—encouraged CFC giving with a quote from baseball great Jackie Robinson, who noted “a life is not important, except in the impact it has on other lives.”
FIC’s executive officer Dexter Collins will spearhead the 2021 campaign, with assistance from NIH CFC program manager Debra Gale and countless volunteers across the agency. “You Can Be the Face of Change” is this year’s theme, which “echoes what happens when we give generously to those in need to enrich the quality of life for all of us,” Collins said.
The next CFC event will be a virtual Halloween Charity Fair and Mask Contest, to be held Oct. 28 at 11 a.m. Contestants are invited to create masks with a superhero theme that celebrate a nurse, doctor, teacher, mother, father or fictional character. NIHers are encouraged to express their creativity in designing masks that are inspirational, funny or scary—with extra credit for those that include a CFC message.
“In this global pandemic, all NIH staff are truly superheroes—delivering vaccines to the world, developing new diagnostics and treatments to stem the spread of disease, and appreciating that Covid anywhere threatens us everywhere,” said Glass. “We are the face of change, of science and of innovation, so mask up as a superhero and join our competition to prove it!”