As we have all witnessed, the Gulf Coast area of the United States has been devastated by Hurricane Katrina. We are all saddened by the news of the loss of lives and destruction of property. Many Federal employees have inquired about the best way to provide assistance to those affected by Hurricane Katrina.
Departments and Agencies should advise Federal employees that the best means for providing immediate assistance is through cash contributions directly to relief organizations which are working in the affected areas. In a recent statement, President Bush identified two national organizations, the American Red Cross (http://www.redcross.org) and the Salvation Army (http://www.salvationarmyusa.org), which have both mobilized to care for those in need. Both are participating charities in the Combined Federal Campaign (CFC) this year. Please visit their respective websites for more information on how to assist those in need in the affected areas.
In addition, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has developed a list, which is being continually updated, (http://www.fema.gov/news/newsrelease.fema?id=18473) and provided instructions on how to provide immediate cash donations to help those affected by Hurricane Katrina on its website. Many of these organizations identified by FEMA are also national CFC participating charities.
Since the recovery from Hurricane Katrina will be a long process, Federal employees may also want to give through the CFC. The official CFC solicitation period begins tomorrow. Federal employees can find many worthwhile national charitable organizations that provide disaster relief in the CFC brochures that will soon be distributed within the workplace. Federal employees can contribute cash or authorize payroll deductions. Payroll deductions, while not immediate, are an important means of providing long term assistance. Individual Departments and Agencies (or subcomponents) may want to consider adopting one or more CFC-participating charities with hurricane relief programs and focus their campaign activities to the benefit of those charities.
Departments/Agencies can contact OPM's Office of CFC Operations at (202) 606-2564 or at firstname.lastname@example.org if there are any questions related to fundraising in support of the hurricane victims.
I am confident that Federal employees will once again answer the call of those in need by contributing to charitable organizations through the CFC or by giving directly to disaster relief organizations.
cc: Chief Human Capital Officers
Federal Executive Board Directors