Cecilia Madan of the U.S. Department of Transportation believes in taking good care of children. “Children need to be nurtured, protected, and educated,” she says. Thinking back to your own childhood and remembering the resources you had – or didn’t have – what comes to mind? Were your needs met? How about your wants? How do you provide for your own children? How can we nurture all children who are in need of dire resources to grow to their full potential?
At the heart of nurture, are the essentials every human needs: food, shelter, support. According to USA Today, feeding a family for four in the U.S. can require an average of $239-$289 per week. That amounts to $12,000-$15,000 annually – an amount many families just do not have. Currently, according to the Census Bureau, over 43 million Americans live below the poverty line, meaning they bring in $12,170 or less per year in income. If the cost of food for a family of four is the same amount some families bring in annually, these families are forced to go without basic needs – including shelter, education, medicine, and more.
“Not all children have access to the essentials, which is why I support organizations that support children,” says Madan. “They provide opportunities and access to resources they would not otherwise have.”
Families who cannot provide for their children may lose custody; children are taken in to support centers until they are assigned to foster families; many wait days, weeks, months before they have an opportunity for a life of “normalcy.” Organizations that help provide for these families, prevent these situations, andimprove the lives of children, need help every day of the year.
The Combined Federal Campaign (CFC) provides federal employees and retirees the opportunity to support causes they care about – including children – through one-time gifts and recurring donations. Federal employees can even pledge volunteer hours.
To help promote the CFC, James Faranda, of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, shared why this cause is also important to him. “I know the pain parents feel when their infant is struggling with a health issue, and I have to do my part to keep these precious ‘new arrivals’ as healthy as they can possibly be,” says Faranda. He encourages his fellow colleagues and service members to consider donating throughout the year using the online pledge system. “The annual campaign creates awareness of important causes, both for long-time contributors, and for those who decide to participate for the first time. Every little [bit] helps; and these CFC-supported charities provide assistance to help parents keep their children healthy,” says Faranda.
One person cannot help every child in need. But together, the federal community can make an impact in an immeasurable number of children’s lives, locally, nationally, and globally.
“Children are our future,” says Madan. When it all feels helpless, know that giving a little can make a difference in just one life. Even $10 can provide an hour of after-school sports coaching for kids in a metropolitan area. And that small gesture can give a child more than just a game: it gives them hope. It lets them know someone cares about them. It makes their life a little better.
Want to make that kind of an impact in children’s lives? Give through the CFC and Show Some Love to an organization working to provide for children’s needs, or choose another cause you care about. Visit opm.gov/ShowSomeLoveCFC for more information and to make a pledge.
Cecilia Madan and James Faranda share a common cause: children.