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The season for giving for military personnel and other federal employees kicks off Oct. 1 with the start of the Combined Federal Campaign Overseas.

People can give to any of the more than 2,000 national and international charities for causes that range from cancer research to veterans organizations. Fundraising goals for the campaign are set at each base. Donors can also contribute to Family Support and Youth Programs on their base, so the money is used on that installation. The campaign ends Dec. 3.

"As far as participation, the rate does vary, but typically for the European Command 40 percent of the people participate," said Constance Baker, deputy director for CFC Overseas. "Last year EUCOM raised $5.6 million."

The fundraising campaign has been going strong since the Eisenhower administration, and CFC’s only goal is to get the word out to everyone, Baker said.

"We always talk about the No. 1 reason people give to charities, it is because someone asked them to, so we want to make sure everyone is asked," she said. "Any cause that someone would want to support would probably be in the (CFC Overseas) brochure."

Contributors can give in one of three ways. A donor can go online to, and click on the Search and Pledge button. He or she then can give by credit card; by printing out the needed paperwork and submitting it; or by getting pledge cards from one of CFC’s key people in each unit.

Those key people could be a unit coordinator or an area project officer who coordinates the campaign at each base.

CFC Overseas gets the word out by trying to assign one person to talk to every 20 potential contributors, with public service announcements and through advertising, Baker said.

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