A survivor of domestic violence shared how a local charity helped her during Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support’s Combined Federal Campaign kickoff event Oct. 13.
Procurement analyst Carolyn Wilson detailed a summer day in 2004 when a series of violent events involving a former boyfriend left her and two children homeless. Wilson found support at Women Against Abuse, a nonprofit organization that provides services for domestic violence survivors.
That charity is one of more than 3,500 local, national and international charities employees can choose to donate to through CFC, the largest workplace philanthropic fundraiser in the world, according to the CFC website.
Wilson was one of five employees to share their stories about how CFC charities impacted their lives.
“I share my story with you because I’m blessed to have a wonderful career here at DLA Troop Support,” Wilson said. “A place where I can be of service. A place that sustains me and my family to live a life others are not so fortunate to have. But in the blink of an eye, the tables can be turned and you may need Women Against Abuse or We Feed the Homeless just to survive.”
Wilson also advocated for We Feed the Homeless, a nonprofit serving more than 400 meals a week to Philadelphia’s homeless population.
Industrial Hardware Deputy Director Tina Piotrowski is DLA Troop Support’s CFC coordinator.
“We, as the employees of DLA Troop Support, help our armed services men and women all over the world,” Piotrowski said. “We show them on a daily basis that we care about them, and this campaign gives us the opportunity to touch more people and reach further than we have before.”
Deputy Commander Richard Ellis also encouraged employees to donate to CFC.
“Selecting a charity is usually a very personal decision,” Ellis said. “There are thousands of organizations that need our help and I’m sure there’s at least one that touches you, a family member, a loved one or friends personally.”
More than a dozen CFC charities have helped the family of Tom Grace, Construction and Equipment customer operations director, with resources for his daughter, who has down syndrome. The support has helped Grace’s daughter lead a typical life by providing physical therapy and getting her involved in sports activities, among other resources, he said.
“I can’t stress enough how important it is to contribute to these organizations,” Grace said, “Everybody probably has something near and dear to their heart, but [the charities] really make a difference in people’s lives.”
Army Lt. Col. Paul McCullough, a special projects officer with C&E, shared his family’s various bouts with life-threatening illnesses and their subsequent experiences with CFC charities. One of his stories included his uncle’s kidney disease diagnosis, which culminated with McCullough giving him a kidney through a transplant.
“I gave you three examples of compassion, hope and redemption,” McCullough said. “How much are those things worth in a human being’s life? I’ll argue that it’s worth at least one percent of your income to make that kind of an impact.”
DLA Troop Support employees donated more than $136,000 to CFC in 2015, contributing to $3 million collected in the Greater Philadelphia and South Jersey area.
Industrial Hardware procurement team leader Joanne Waltrich advocated for Dystrophic Epidermolysis Bullosa Research Association of America, which supports a rare skin condition that took the life of her infant niece in 2009.
Barbara Duffy, a DLA Information Operations information technology specialist, also shared how the DLA Foundation is helping fund her niece’s college education. The DLA Foundation provides scholarships to DLA employees’ relatives.
The CFC runs through Dec. 15. Employees can donate via MyPay using the Federal Agency and Office code for DLA Troop Support, which is 331140.
DLA Troop Support’s CFC committee is also hosting book sales every Wednesday from Oct. 19 to Nov. 30, in Bldg. 6, oasis C, from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m.