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SEOUL — U.S. troops in South Korea donated more than $1.5 million to the Combined Federal Campaign — Overseas, base officials said.

U.S. Forces Korea participation boosted worldwide CFC donations to more than $27 million, according to an Army news report.

Governmentwide participation in CFC dropped slightly, but Army participation remained steady, Thomas Campbell, a Department of the Army voluntary CFC program manager, said in a release.

Air Force Maj. Gen. James N. Soligan, deputy chief of staff for the USFK and U.N. Command, thanked contributors during a recent awards ceremony at Yongsan Garrison.

“I appreciate the effort you extended,” Soligan said.

CFC-O director Melissa Kidder, of Washington, D.C., was in South Korea for the event. “It’s very important to not only thank the donors,” she said, “but the volunteers personally, for their effort.”

The national CFC campaign generally runs from September through December, but Army officials requested a 30-day extension this year.

In South Korea, more than 42 percent of available contributors donated, averaging $91 each.

The CFC allows federal employees to contribute to almost 1,500 charitable organizations.

The campaign is the only authorized charitable workplace fund-raising effort for federal employees, both civilian and military. Administrative costs are firmly regulated so most of what is collected reaches the designated groups, officials said in the news release.

Relief campaign kicks off

SEOUL — The worldwide annual Army Emergency Relief fund-raising campaign runs March 1 to May 15.

The Army’s Area I AER office gave more than $500,000 in loans and $14,000 in grants to local soldiers last year, said John Coachman, AER officer.

Now, Coachman said, it’s time to refill those coffers with donations because the government doesn’t provide any money to AER: It’s all from contributions.

Soldiers should donate because AER “is like a safety net,” said Coachman. “When soldiers can’t turn anywhere else, they can turn to AER.”

According to the military, 96 percent of the money collected goes toward interest-free loans and grants for military community members facing financial emergencies. Recipients include active-duty soldiers, family members, Army retirees, and widows and orphans of soldiers. The other 4 percent is used for operational costs.

—Stars and Stripes

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