Are you ready for International Volunteer Day?

As federal employees, service is built into our DNA. As public servants, we focus on making a difference every day at the office. Many of us take that same spirit to our communities, after work hours, by volunteering with groups and causes important to us.

Two years ago, the Combined Federal Campaign (CFC), the annual charitable giving program for federal employees and retirees, was expanded to allow federal employees the opportunity to pledge volunteer hours.

Since then, more than 242,000 volunteer hours have been contributed.

International Volunteer Day, which happens this year on Dec. 5, provides us an opportunity to focus on how we can serve others, and supporting your favorite causes through the CFC is a way to make a difference beyond our everyday roles.

I often hear from federal employees and retirees about how good it makes them feel to get out in the community and directly give back to those in need — that’s a wonderful byproduct of doing something that is meant to serve others. But, when you think about it, there aren’t many of us who haven’t needed a helping hand at one time or another, or had a family member who did, so it makes perfect sense.

Let’s also remember that many of the charities in the CFC are directly serving our federal community as well.

Whether it’s a veteran that needs assistance, a colleague with a sick child that needs special care, or a retired federal employee who requires help at home, we can all appreciate that being thankful for what we have and giving back now provides a sense of security and interconnectivity that bonds us all together.

As we near the end of another year and reflect on the things we are grateful for, as well as the things we want to spend more time on, I encourage the federal community to think about the causes that are important to you and your family — education, veterans, curing cancer, homelessness, the environment, or many other worthy endeavors. Then on Dec. 5, remember to make your volunteer and financial contribution at cfcnca.org.

It will go a long way in helping out someone in need, and it just might make you feel good too!

Vince Micone is deputy special inspector general for management, Office of the Special Inspector General, for the U.S. Department of the Treasury and chairperson of the Local Federal Coordinating Committee that oversees the Combined Federal Campaign of the National Capital Area (CFCNCA).

Federal employees and retirees located outside the CFCNCA can look up and donate to their local campaign at cfcgiving.opm.gov.

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