As of Nov. 2, Marine Forces Japan personnel have donated more than $156,000 to the 2010 Combined Federal Campaign-Overseas.
The fundraising campaign, which ends Dec. 3, provides federal employees the opportunity to donate to the charities of their choice.
Two of the more than 2,300 charities listed with the CFC-O are the United Services Organization and the Family Support and Youth Programs. Both directly support the military.
The USO is a non-profit organization that relies on donations from private organizations and corporations, said Elizabeth Lee, director of operations for USO Pacific Region.
For every dollar donated to the USO, 86 cents goes directly to the programs offered by the USO for service members.
The USO was created in 1941 by then President Franklin D. Roosevelt by combining six private organizations: Young Men’s Christian Association, Young Women’s Christian Association, National Catholic Community Service, The National Jewish Welfare Board, Travelers Aid Association and the Salvation Army. The organization’s purpose was to handle the on-leave morale needs of service members.
For nearly 70 years, the USO has provided morale-boosting programs and services to enhance quality of life for military personnel and their families worldwide.
About 1,500 service members use the organization’s services monthly on Okinawa, said Julia Gregory, the programs and marketing director for USO Okinawa.
There are USOs at Marine Corps Air Station Futenma, Camp Hansen, Camp Schwab and Kadena Air Base.
"The donations we get through the CFC are essential to funding so many of the programs we have," said Gregory. "The donations to the USO through the CFC are what will allow us to continue providing these services to the military members and their families."
Free-of-charge services include worldwide calling, monthly free food night, flap-jack Fridays, computers with Internet connection, snacks and television rooms.
FSYP directly benefits service members and their family members as well. Donating to FSYP helps ease the transition to overseas military life by funding recreational activities and facility improvements for military families.
More than $600,000 from the 2009 campaign will be spent on quality of life programs including classes to teach children in military families the language of their host country, intramural sports programs and the construction of a new youth center among other projects.
Anyone interested in donating to any of the thousands of charities supported by CFC-O has three options.
Donations can be made using the traditional paper pledge cards provided by unit coordinators.
Donations can be made using the Online Pledge Assistant found at www.cfcoverseas.org. The online pledge card is then printed and given to the unit coordinator. Finally, donations can be made using the fully-automated system called "e-Giving," on the website.
This work, CFC helps charities help service members, by Cpl Daniel Flynn, identified by DVIDS, is free of known copyright restrictions under U.S. copyright law.