The pandemic failed to curb the generosity of federal employees

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Not all federal employees may be in the office for the second consecutive holiday season. But your generosity is not discouraged by the pandemic. In fact, on Tuesday’s recent donation, you really paid. Both in dollars and in volunteer hours. Federal Drive with Tom Temin got the latest news from the Chair of the Federal Coordinating Committee for the National Capital Region, Vince Micone.

Tom Temin: Vince, good to see you again.

Vince Micone: Hey, Tom, it’s great to join the show. And it’s good that we are in the holiday season again. And you are right, we have some very good news. So our Giving Tuesday was phenomenal. So people might remember that Giving Tuesday is the Tuesday after Thanksgiving, sort of after Black Friday, Cyber ​​Monday, Giving Tuesday, where people can focus on giving a gift to their community. And in the federal sector in the National Capital Region, we raised about $ 2.35 million, which is the highest we ever raised on Tuesday. So we’re very excited about it. In fact, all week we raised three and a half million dollars and recorded a record 2,000 volunteer hours promised by federal employees, which is pretty incredible.

Tom Temin: Yeah. So that bodes well for the whole campaign, so who is going until the beginning of January?

Vince Micone: Yes, it goes until the second week of January, when people can contribute after they return from vacation and vacation. Right now we are tied for doing as well as we did last year. And last year we collected 10% more than the previous year. So, again, we’re very excited about this, because of the real impact where the dollars are going. You know, I think it really hits home, especially this week, after hearing about so many lives turned upside down by tornadoes in the Tennessee Valley in the Midwest. And we understand that CFC dollars will be used to rebuild lives, homes and everything. So it really touches us and it’s something very important for the employees.

Tom Temin: I think there are some dynamics happening across the country. The first is that there is the savings bubble that people have because they don’t travel and don’t spend that much. And so I read several stories about the amount of money people have online. So there is more available to give. And second, there is the widespread understanding, I think, that a lot of people are suffering – even now, so late in the pandemic. I saw a report on TV the other day that a dinner party each contributed $ 100 and tip the waitresses thousands of dollars due to the tough restaurant industry. Anyway, do you have the impression that within the federal community there is this phenomenon going on – more savings and more people in need?

Vince Micone: Yeah, you know, listen, our nation lost 800,000 people. I don’t know anyone who doesn’t know someone who has been affected by the impact of the pandemic. And there are a lot of people in need. You know, you’re just looking in our community, in the DC metro area, homeless shelters are struggling with COVID. They are also dealing with people who are still hungry and cold. And so they have a lot of balances. They have to care about their staff, things are costing them more right now in terms of the overall services they have to provide during this time. And so, the dollars really do have an even bigger impact in many charities that are in the National Capital Region of the Combined Federal Campaign. You know, places like the Central Union Mission serve meals to 62,000 people every day. These are examples of how federal employees impact CFC charities like The Union, A Wider Circle and all the other organizations participating in the campaign.

Tom Temin: And do you have any idea, do you get reports from other parts of the country from your perch there, as a result of the National Capital Region campaign? How are the other regions doing? Do you have any idea at this point?

Vince Micone: They are fine. It has been a strong campaign nationwide. I am very proud, however, that we are leading the campaign. We represent about 40% of all dollars that come in. And that really speaks to the commitment of the employees of this community – in the National Capital Region – not only to do their jobs as public servants, but to contribute to the community. You know, this year for the Combined Federal Campaign, it’s a special year because it’s our 60th anniversary.

Tom Temin: Wow.

Vince Micone: We’re asking people to do something even a little more special, maybe do 60 and give 60. Do 60 Jumping Jacks, run 60 miles and then commit an extra contribution to CFC beyond your normal contribution. to mark the anniversary. And to mark the importance of it this year.

Tom Temin: We speak with Vince Micone. He is the National Capital Region Chair of the Federal Coordinating Committee for this year’s Combined Federal Campaign. And tell us more about volunteer hours. What have people done and what can they still do to volunteer to help this campaign?

Vince Micone: There is a wide range of things our volunteers do – all since then I just heard from some of the campaign volunteers who write letters to children who have lost parents or family members during the pandemic. . We have a number of volunteers who, in a socially distanced way, work in our community’s food banks to help sort out the foods that go to families. One of our staff helped produce, I think, 10,000 pounds of potatoes in Pennsylvania to help support charities. So these are all things that individuals have done, and these are just a few of the stories that I have heard. Some agency activities are quite fun and generate interest in addition to volunteer hours. You know, Tom, some people are doing some of the things like you did with your charity run this summer that I read the article about, where you raise money for FEAA and for a friend and NIH patients, you know, and it’s these individual contributions, these activities that really touch people’s lives.

Tom Temin: Okay, and what events could still be planned in the season? I mean, here we are, not quite Christmas, it happens fast every year, doesn’t it. But we are still at the height of the holiday season.

Vince Micone: It’s certain. So right now, really, our efforts are directed at employees at holiday season, many of which are virtual, just to remind them of the Combined Federal Campaign. And then we’re going to have a big push when we come back after New Years to remind people of the year-end giving opportunities if they want to make their final pledges.

Tom Temin: Okay, what else do people need to know? How do you feel about the distribution of charities chosen by federal employees? Do you have any idea?

Vince Micone: We don’t hear that until February or March, really. We have approximately 5,000 local charities in the countryside and in other national and international charities. And to be very honest with you, Tom, I can’t recall the spread last year of something that we are currently encouraging charities in the National Capital Region to join the campaign so that Federal employees who are interested in them can contribute. We are currently in a two month process where charities can register and be a part of the campaign and benefit from the generosity of federal employees. So that’s one of our goals right now, so that there are more opportunities for people to donate next year.

Tom Temin: And you control the charities, don’t you? The people who donate to them can be sure that they are legitimate charities that do not travel to Bermuda on what is donated.

Vince Micone: That’s right. One of the benefits of the Combined Federal Campaign is that we all do the heavy lifting as federal employee volunteers. We look at the charities, we look at them every year, we make sure they’re 501 (c) (3). And we publish information on how much money they spend on surveillance activities. So people can see that when they visit our website, – very simple, – where you can find out more about any charity, you can sign up to volunteer. or you can make your contribution.

Tom Temin: And you have to get good signals from the administration, because we have to point out that you have a day job elsewhere in the federal government, like all individual agency coordinators, and they need to get time off from the agency to undertake some of these activities over, say, the time of the business, to a certain extent.

Vince Micone: We have enjoyed great support, for many, many years, for the activities that we carry out within the framework of the campaign. I know my agency, Commerce, is fantastic. There is some enthusiasm this year. We asked the vice president to speak at our campaign opening this year, virtually. So we really felt like it was a priority to reach and serve our communities, not only what we do as public servants, but through the CFC.

Tom Temin: Okay, so there’s still time to dig deep, right?

Vince Micone: It’s easy to give, you have the flexibility to donate to the charities you want. It’s secure thanks to our system. And you know, frankly, one of the cool things this year, our app is working great, our mobile app that you can get in any store. And we’re seeing tons of people donate this way. So we’re really trying to get rid of paper as well. So we’re also becoming a green campaign, in terms of empowering people to give.

Tom Temin: Vince Micone is the National Capital Region Chair of the Federal Coordinating Committee for this year’s Combined Federal Campaign. Thank you very much as always.

Vince Micone: Thank you very much, and I hope you will join our awards ceremony this year. And we can talk a little bit about your fundraising efforts and how important they are.

Tom Temin: Okay, well, we’ll leave this interview for you, but I’ll take any opportunity to release mine later closer to our event.

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