NAPLES, Italy — European Commands’ participation in the 2002 overseas Combined Federal Campaign is higher than last year — quite a feat, say organizers, considering the spirit of giving following the Sept. 11 attacks.

Thirty-nine percent of the servicemembers under EUCOM donated money to various charities this year — up from 35 percent last year — and every branch topped last year’s donation totals, CFC officials said Monday.

Although final figures aren’t available, EUCOM raised almost $6.3 million, up from $5.9 last year, CFC officials said.

“Not all met their individual goals they set out for, but all exceeded their total donations from last year,” said Greg Sassman, CFC director for Europe.

For example, U.S. Naval Forces Europe’s goal was 53 percent participation with a $143 average donation. Participation was 50 percent, with a $136 average. But the Navy exceeded last year’s collections of $931,000, contributing $1,058,000.

In Naples, Italy, contributions totaled about $233,500 — up almost $6,000.

“We thought from the beginning we wouldn’t get the dollar figure we obtained last year because of everyone being more giving because of Sept. 11,” said Chief Petty Officer Timothy Eckert, area project officer and one of about 3,000 volunteers for the campaign.

EUCOM Headquarters and the Navy had the highest percentage of people contributing, with 51 percent and 50 percent participation, respectively.

More than 47,000 donors in Europe contributed an average of $131 for CFC, the only fund-raiser allowed to solicit federal employees in the workplace. The campaign gives servicemembers, federal employees and their families overseas a way to donate to more than 1,300 U.S. organizations involved in national and international charity work.

Contributors can also give to their local installation’s family support and youth programs. Donors can pay by check or by payroll deductions spread across the entire year.

Sassman said this year’s overall CFC aim is to exceed last year’s contributions of $11.1 million in Europe and the Pacific theaters. He said CFC appears to be on track to meet that goal.

Final numbers weren’t available; the Pacific campaign was extended until Jan. 2 because of a typhoon in Guam and deployment issues.

The Europe campaign, which began Oct. 1, was extended a month to Dec. 13. More than $2 million was donated after the extension.

CFC used a Web-based reporting system for the first time overseas this year, which allowed project officers to view donations in real time.

“It allowed the project officers to list all the units, what the potential donors were and also compute what their percent participation was and average dollar gift was,” Sassman said.

People in Europe can make late donations until Jan. 17 by contacting their project officer.

This year’s Combined Federal Campaign

Total contributions for the Combined Federal Campaign as of Monday: $6,264,171. Last year’s contributions: $5.9 million.

Donors: 44,000 last year; more than 47,000 this year.

Navy: 50 percent participation; average gift $136; $1,058,000 in contributions.

Air Force: 28 percent participation; average gift $194; $2,127,000 in contributions.

Army: 38 percent participation; average gift $98; $2,739,000 in contributions.

European Command Headquarters: 51 percent participation; average gift $278; $340,000 in contributions.

Source: CFC Director for Europe

— Note: Donation amounts not final, some money is still being tabulated.

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