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    NUWC Division Newport exceeds 2020 Combined Federal Campaign goal despite pandemic challenges

    NUWC Division Newport exceeds 2020 Combined Federal Campaign goal despite pandemic challenges

    Photo By David Stoehr | Naval Undersea Warfare Center Division Newport employees Paula Farina (from left) of...... read more read more



    Story by Public Affairs Office 

    Naval Undersea Warfare Center Division Newport

    NEWPORT, R.I. — Naval Undersea Warfare Center (NUWC) Division Newport employees exceeded the Command’s 2020 goal for fundraising for the Combined Federal Campaign (CFC) by 116%, raising $144,837 despite the fact that efforts took on a virtual approach this year because of the coronavirus pandemic. Along with exceeding its goal of $125,000 in donations, employees also donated 280 volunteer hours.

    The total amount raised, from October through Jan. 15, is $17,803 more than in 2019, with 225 employees donating, an increase of 12 donors over last year.

    Established in 1961 as the federal government’s version of United Way, CFC is the only authorized and coordinated federal workplace-giving program. Employees can donate to any charity in CFC’s wide network online, with payroll deductions or one-time donations. Since its inception, the CFC has raised more than $8.4 billion.

    Now wrapping up their second year in leading the charge for the CFC at Division Newport, Laurie Dutra, executive analyst to Technical Director Ron Vien, and electronic warfare cyber lead Paula Farina of the Undersea Warfare Electromagnetic Systems Department, believe they have hit their stride in coordinating the annual campaign.

    After getting feedback last year on what kinds of information employees preferred, Dutra and Farina created several how-to guides and cheat sheets for every possible giving scenario. With a kickoff email to all employees from Commanding Officer Capt. Chad Hennings in October, weekly emails from Dutra and Farina about the CFC’s “Cause of the Week” drove much of the promotion for the 2020 campaign. The causes addressed topics such as children and family services, public safety, mental health and environmental protection.

    Department keyworkers helped spread the word and explained to co-workers how easy it is to give through the CFC, assisted in completing donation forms and answered any questions.

    “In prior years and prior to this pandemic, we made it a goal to speak face-to-face with every employee about the CFC campaign and put posters and information on the doors and walls,” keyworker John Boelter said. “With the pandemic, that became a challenge, so the written emails we sent needed to have a catchy subject line and the content had to be short and concise while at the same time delivering the intended message.”

    “I want to recognize our wonderful keyworkers who, despite a mostly virtual workforce this year, still connected with co-workers in their departments and helped them navigate through the process,” Dutra said.

    Along with Boelter, this year’s keyworkers include Tom Carroll, Rebecca Harrington, Karen Harvey, Helen Douglas, Brianna Bransfield, Michael Umehara, Mike Aunchman, Christopher Julius, Erin Groppe, Renee Tingstad, Petty Officer 2nd Class Larry Whiteley, Paul Vebber, Petty Officer 1st Class Michael Mize and Pat Eno.

    This year, the Combined Federal Campaign of New England offered a more personal touch about giving, with stories accompanying each cause, detailing how individuals or charities are utilizing CFC contributions. Videos included one about a U.S. Navy veteran who found a CFC-supported organization with a veteran services program. CFC New England raised more than 1.8 million during the 2020 campaign and collected 2,413 volunteer hours.

    “We received a lot of feedback that the personalization makes it more interesting,” Dutra said. “People can visualize it better, and you connect more. Right now we’re isolated and it’s all about making connections in any way you can, so these stories helped with that.”

    “We really appreciate the generosity of those donating,” Dutra added. “We know it’s a tough time and there are so many other ways that people can give now — it’s so easy to quickly donate through various channels like Facebook, but we do think CFC is still extremely valuable because if you opt for payroll deduction, you can spread it out over the year and to different charities, and still make a huge impact.”

    Several departments hosted contests as part of the fundraising efforts, including a baby photo contest and a home workspace decorating contest.

    “These contests act as a reminder for people and to encourage them to give,” Dutra said. “I know they had a great impact on morale and helped people socialize and have fun while being apart — that’s more important to me than how many people donated since we can’t be together and make connections. That impact alone is worth doing it.”

    To learn more about the CFC, visit or

    NUWC Division Newport is a shore command of the U.S. Navy within the Naval Sea Systems Command, which engineers, builds and supports America’s fleet of ships and combat systems. NUWC Newport provides research, development, test and evaluation, engineering and fleet support for submarines, autonomous underwater systems, undersea offensive and defensive weapons systems, and countermeasures associated with undersea warfare.

    NUWC Newport is the oldest warfare center in the country, tracing its heritage to the Naval Torpedo Station established on Goat Island in Newport Harbor in 1869. Commanded by Capt. Chad Hennings, NUWC Newport maintains major detachments in West Palm Beach, Florida, and Andros Island in the Bahamas, as well as test facilities at Seneca Lake and Fisher's Island, New York, Leesburg, Florida, and Dodge Pond, Connecticut.



    Date Taken: 02.02.2021
    Date Posted: 02.02.2021 10:09
    Story ID: 388158
    Location: NEWPORT, RI, US 
    Hometown: LEDYARD CENTER, CT, US
    Hometown: NEWPORT, RI, US
    Hometown: PORTSMOUTH, RI, US

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