FORT BELVOIR, Va. –
Maj. Krystal McGuiness started granting wishes with just $5 a month as an 18-year-old Air Force Academy cadet contributing to the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Colorado through the Combined Federal Campaign.
Fourteen years later, the Defense Logistics Agency’s deputy chief of readiness for nuclear support has given over $7,000, enough to pay for one child with a life-threatening condition to have a wish of his or her choosing granted.
McGuiness’ interest in Make-A-Wish began when a childhood friend died of brain cancer at age 17.
“Before she died, she had the extreme fortune of going on a Make-A-Wish trip to Ireland to watch a soccer match because that was her dream. Watching the joy that wish brought to her entire family still brings me goose bumps today,” she said.
CFC has given McGuiness an easy way to keep her promise to help make other children’s wishes reality.
“We all have busy lives, so CFC is a way for me to have auto-pilot donations that let me know my promise to my friend is still going on in the background,” she said. “I don’t have to actively think about it every month.”
McGuiness also participated in the Air Force Academy’s Cadet for a Day program, a partnership with Make-A-Wish, while teaching English at the academy before arriving at DLA. As officer in charge of the program, she helped cadets plan activities like aircraft rides and flyovers.
“Being present for a kid’s wish is rewarding and over time it just hits your heart even more,” she said.
Helping children is now more meaningful than ever to McGuiness.
“I’m a new mom, so the impact of being able to contribute to helping families in need takes on a new meaning when you start to imagine how that could impact my own family if we ever needed it,” she continued.
McGuiness recommended employees who are hesitant to give to find a cause that speaks to their heart and start small.
“The benefit of CFC is you can really curate what you contribute to so you know it’s something that matters to you personally,” she said.
Employees can donate by credit card or payroll deduction on a one-time or recurring basis at GiveCFC.org or the CFC Giving Mobile App on their cell phone. Both options are secure and allow users to search for specific charities or view a list of organizations that support specific categories by location. A hand icon appears next to charities needing volunteers.
Each week throughout the campaign will be dedicated to raising awareness for causes like ending hunger, environmental protection and human rights. For more information, go to GiveCFC.org or contact a keyworker in your directorate.