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Giving Back through the CFC in Many Ways
More than 43 years ago, Lloyd Calderon became a 17-year-old airman in the U.S. Air Force from his home state of Oregon. Over his military career, Calderon served as a security specialist and a recruiter in many locations.
Today, he works as a civilian with the Small Business Administration (SBA) as a Business Opportunity Analyst focusing on promoting 8A opportunities for targeted socio-economic categories, where he is also known as "Mr. Vet Business" thanks to promoting business outreach to veteran-run businesses.
His service also extends beyond the reach of the SBA and through the Combined Federal Campaign (CFC). At work, Calderon is a connector bringing together people and businesses. In his voluntary services, he continues in that role of bringing together people and causes through CFC support, leadership, and engagement.
"Lloyd's dedication to service is instrumental in creating business opportunities. That same dedication helps the charities and causes in the CFC with philanthropic opportunities," explained CFC Director Keith Willingham. "He also is an example of how military retirees can keep their support of charities going through the CFC."
"If you love serving your country, the CFC is a great additional way to do that," explained Calderon, who is not just a contributor. He also has served in a variety of volunteer leadership roles including Keyworker, Campaign Manager, Charity Reviewer, and Loaned Executive.
During his time in the USAF, Calderon was stationed at Malmstrom AFB (Montana); Northern Tier, SAC; Iceland; Frances E. Warren in Wyoming; and with the Air National Guard. Ultimately, he retired as a Senior Master Sergeant (E-8). Now, he works out of SBA headquarters in Washington, D.C.
"No matter what role you serve, 'You Can Be the Face of Change' just like Lloyd is for his favorite causes," explained CFC Director Keith Willingham at OPM. "Lloyd is one of the thousands of people who exhibits why this is more than just a slogan. It is the vision and reality of the CFC."
As one of the largest workplace giving campaigns in the world, the CFC has enabled Federal employees and now retirees to pledge more than $8.6 billion to their favorite local, national, and international causes in the last 60+ years. Since retirees began giving through annuity deductions in 2017, that segment of givers is the fastest growing in the CFC.
"Once a campaign exclusively for Federal employees, thanks to an executive order in 2016, civilian and military retirees can now continue their giving through the CFC with the ability to make a direct deduction right from their annuity," explained Willingham. Last year, giving through the CFC topped $80 million.
"The CFC and charities in this campaign are so appreciative of the leadership and generosity of retirees like Lloyd and so many others. We could not do what we do without retirees who voluntarily support the annual campaign," said Willingham.
"Everything goes back to services impacting the lives of thousands of people you will never meet," Calderon explains. For example, he said that when he and his spouse had a baby and the child was sick, a charity came along with assistance. So, today, when he hears stories of others who are helped, those stories resonate with his experience.
"We all go through stuff. But we are made up of core values that are a part of us long before we face a crisis. I am a public servant. I am proud of that. We take an oath to take care of this nation. Service, then, is a part of my oath – an extension of who we are as Federal employees or military retirees. My oath never ends."
Today, his civilian career puts him in touch with some of the 200,000 Americans who become veterans every year. "We have been given a lot; education, experience. Therefore, I look to pay that back as much as I can."
The CFC provides an easy way to make a difference in the causes that are most important to Calderon: diabetes and health care.
Health care became important early in his life because he was raised by his Spanish-speaking grandmother. But a disease caused her to have a stroke. Ensuring that people have good nutrition that supports a healthy lifestyle has remained important in his life, career, and charity.
The solicitation period for the CFC continues through January 14, 2023.
"While the annual CFC pledge season runs through mid-January, anyone who becomes a retiree even outside that window can open or move their account to be funded through their annuity," explained Calderon, who was a Loaned Executive in the National Capital Area CFC zone.
If you previously supported CFC charities in a former civilian, postal, or military career, you could transfer that gift to your annuity by updating your CFC profile in the Online Giving System. If not, you can enter a new pledge.
Visit www.givecfc.org to learn more about the campaign, participating charities, and opportunities. If you have questions, then call the CFC Help Center at 1-800-797-0098 (8 a.m. - 6 p.m. CST) or visit: cfcgiving.opm.gov/contact.
Page updated December 23, 2022