News: Soldier begins fourth fund raiser overseas
Story by Dustin Senger
By Dustin Senger
Area Support Group - Qatar
CAMP AS SAYLIYAH, Qatar – The 2008 Combined Federal Campaign Overseas fund raiser has officially begun at Camp As Sayliyah, Qatar, Oct. 14, 2008. From now until Dec. 12, 2008, several service members will operate as local CFC-O representatives to help charitable organizations change lives. U.S. Army Sgt. Lumbala Walumbala, from Sacramento, Calif., had a commemoration of his own: this is his fourth consecutive year promoting philanthropy at the U.S. military installation in the Gulf state.
"With your help, we raised over $15.7 million in 2007," said Bruce Dreger, CFC-O Central Command coordinator, while meeting with service members at Camp As Sayliyah, Sept. 28, 2008. Only legitimate organizations with low-overhead costs qualify under CFC-O's strict guidelines. With over 2,000 national and international charitable organizations listed, Dreger insists "there truly is something for everyone."
"We've been setting up this kick-off ceremony since early this morning," said Walumbala, Area Support Group Qatar unit coordinator and alternate community/area project officer for the installation. "We wanted to be sure everything was ready – first impressions count." At the installation level, a CAPO assigns unit coordinators, who then pass information to key persons to provide potential contributors with one-on-one assistance. Campaign representatives strive to reach 100-percent contact.
Walumbala arrived to the Qatar base in December 2004; the year's campaign had begun but he immediately became involved nonetheless. According to Lumbala, the installation commander recognized how well he interacted with people and told him, "the CFC needs people with your communication skills."
"I have gained a lot of experience over the past four campaigns," said Walumbala. "Experience is a key ingredient for success. It helps people adapt to changes faster and work more productively. I also have a lot of confidence – I know exactly what needs to be done and how to do it. We have a command that supports us, and more people than ever excited about it. Even though the economy is doing poorly, I am sure this will be our best year supporting CFC-O charities at Camp As Sayliyah."
Local representatives do not influence anyone's choice. It's the individual's decision to select which organizations warrant their support. Donations can be accepted in a variety of ways to ensure a successful fundraising year; such as payroll deduction, personal check, money order and credit card. If required, cash can also be accepted, including foreign currency.
As a local charity, donating to Family Youth and Support Programs benefits the installation of origin. In 2007, the CFC-O campaign raised over $714,000 in FYSP pledges. ASG-QA FYSP raised almost $3,000 to support the U.S. Central Command rest and recuperation pass program at Camp As Sayliyah – recharging over 165,000 war fighters since its 2004 inception.
"I donate what I can in the spirit of helping Soldiers," said Walumbala. "There is need here, just as there is back home. People have always helped my family while I have been overseas, so I feel this is a way for me to give something back."