People were a little stingier in 2008 in their donations to the Combined Federal Campaign Overseas in Europe compared with the previous year.

According to CFC-Overseas officials, the 2008 campaign raised just over $5.3 million from Oct. 1 to Dec. 3 compared with $5.6 million during the same period the previous year. CFC raises money for more than 2,000 charities.

"Certainly the economy had an impact," Constance Baker, deputy director for CFC Overseas, said about the drop in donations. "We all felt it. People still gave; they just didn’t give at the same rate, which is understandable. People still responded in a positive way."

The average donation in U.S. European Command was $203, and 36 percent of the federal employees in Europe participated, she said. CFC’s 2008 fundraising effort got off to a strong start by raising $1.7 million in Europe by Oct. 1. More than 26,000 servicemembers and federal employees contributed in Europe and almost 750 in Africa Command. Servicemembers and federal employees in AFRICOM contributed about $255,000.

CFC Overseas raised more than $15.8 million worldwide in 2008 and about $15.7 million in 2007.

And like the CFC campaigns in the States, donors were able to give back to their community by making a contribution to the Family Support and Youth Program at their base. That money goes toward programs such as outdoor recreation and other services on bases.

Baker said CFC was able to make federal employees in Europe and AFRICOM aware of the campaign so people had the opportunity to give.

She attributed that to CFC Overseas’ army of volunteers who spread the word about it.

The 2009 CFC-Overseas drive is scheduled for Oct. 5 to Dec. 4.

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