Online pledging open so donors can ‘Be the Face of Change’

Jacque Fisher, deputy director of the Sensors Division, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaisance Directorate, Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, is serving as the chairperson of the 2020 Ohio Combined Federal Campaign, Dayton District. Chris Merlo, chief, Program Integration Branch, Air Force Materiel Command, is this year’s vice-chair. SKYWRIGHTER PHOTO/AMY ROLLINS

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Jacque Fisher, deputy director of the Sensors Division, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaisance Directorate, Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, is serving as the chairperson of the 2020 Ohio Combined Federal Campaign, Dayton District. Chris Merlo, chief, Program Integration Branch, Air Force Materiel Command, is this year’s vice-chair. SKYWRIGHTER PHOTO/AMY ROLLINS

Wright-Patterson Air Force Base’s Combined Federal Campaign participation kicked off Oct. 7 via CVR Live. Skywrighter staff writer Amy Rollins met virtually with CFCchair Jacque Fisher, deputy director of the Sensors Division, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Directorate, Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, and vice-chair, Chris Merlo, chief, Program Integration Branch, Air Force Materiel Command, to talk about how this year’s campaign is going.

How has the COVID-19 pandemic affected the campaign? Is it being successful?

Fisher: The greater Dayton leadership has been exceptional during these challenging times. While we aren’t face to face, we are united in our efforts to give back to those who are most in need.

What kinds of needs for CFC donations are being seen in the Miami Valley, regionally, statewide, nationally and internationally?

Fisher: Every organization providing programs and services that keep strong the communities where we live and work is experiencing unprecedented requests for assistance. Examples include, but are not limited to: increased need for mental health support; cancelations of arts and culture program, draining those organizations' budgets; isolation experienced by senior citizens, including our veterans; animal shelters overwhelmed with pets that families can no longer care for; children of all ages experiencing remote learning going without breakfast and/or lunch; charities that rely on volunteers are strapped. The list is as long as it is diverse.

How long does the campaign run? What is this year’s theme?

Merlo: This year’s local campaign push will run through Nov. 20, with contributions able to be made now through Jan. 15. The theme of the 2020 Ohio Combined Federal Campaign, Dayton District, is “Show Some Love: Be the Face of Change.”

What does that theme mean to you?

Fisher: Personally, it’s a great time of reflection. I am blessed with a great job. I am blessed to have strong legs to volunteer with local charities, delivering meals to those affected most by COVID. I am blessed as I have the means to give not only of my time, but to step up to my payroll deduction commitment.

Merlo: I really connect to “Be the Face of Change.” This year we all have been forced to quarantine in our homes and have lost some control of our lives, and we haven’t had a chance to do what we used to do. The CFC is a way to take back that control and help make changes in our community that we normally would have done in person.

How can people participate? What are the different ways people can give?

Fisher: Contributions can be made by visiting https://GiveCFC.org.

Merlo: While we can contribute financially, the website also allows us to connect with many charities to volunteer our time.

Why should people consider donating if they feel like they have less money and have their own concerns? Is there a way for people to donate volunteer time, too?

Fisher: Time equals money to many small charities. Sweat equity honestly can mean more than a payroll deduction.

Merlo: As I mentioned, the CFC website features charities that provide volunteer opportunities, which allows us to donate time, regardless if we make a monetary contribution. Look for charities that show a “hand” on the website.

Susy Himelhoch has served as the Ohio CFC, Dayton District director for years. What does she bring to the table?

Fisher: She brings energy, enthusiasm, knowledge and expertise.

Merlo: Susy is such a key to the success of the overall program. She keeps us all on track and offers advice on what we need to do and when.

You have been involved with the CFC as a volunteer for several years. Why do you continue to do what you do?

Fisher: It’s my social responsibility as a servant leader. For much is given, much is required.

Merlo: Over the past many years, I have been involved at the unit level working to communicate information about the campaign. I arrived at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base earlier this year and wanted to continue my involvement with CFC. During my last assignment at Joint Base San Antonio - Lackland, I really learned how important it is to have a great relationship between both the military community and local community. I wanted to do anything I could do to support that; I know the CFC is the perfect way to do that – not just on a local level but on a national level as well.

Is there anything else you’d like people to know about the CFC?

Fisher: Start today with a small habit of payroll deduction. For a cost of a cup of coffee, it could mean a meal to a child over the weekend.

Merlo: Everyone is different and each of us has a list of ideas and types of organizations we support. Most of us want to help out those in need. But we all have a limited amount of time and money we can give. I’ve found CFC is the perfect vehicle for focusing our support on the causes that are important to each of us.

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