Taking a day away from the YPT office, I recently spent some time at a different kind of event – a Combined Federal Campaign (CFC) charity fair at the Army National Guard in Virginia. Here at YPT we pursue all different kinds of funding opportunities to ensure that we can continue to provide programming for our students. Through CFC, federal employees have the opportunity to donate to a charity or charities of their choice through workplace giving.
Events like the one at the National Guard allow CFC charities (like YPT!) to share information about their work with federal employees, while these employees can learn more about organizations they might want to contribute to. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect when I showed up on Tuesday, but I set up the YPT table, put out a bowl of candy (a crucial part of any information table), and I ended up talking to a lot of cool people. The National Guard can seem a little intimidating at first with all its security and servicemen and women walking around in uniform, but everyone I met was very friendly and open to learning about YPT. I talked to several service members who lit up at the idea of the opportunities offered by YPT’s programs. “My daughter would love this!” exclaimed one mother, while a father told me about his son who writes music in his free time. Another man recalled that he used to write plays himself, while yet another employee took the season flier after noting that he and his wife have been looking for new theaters to check out. Beneath the identical Army fatigues were artists, arts enthusiasts and proud parents, all united by their commitment to charitable giving.
I was also able to talk to some of the other CFC charities at the event. There was quite a diverse group! YPT sat alongside a charity that helped children in Africa, an environmental group, and an organization that provides free plane ride to veterans who need to travel for medical care, as well as several larger charities such as United Way that actually support smaller organizations like YPT. After manning tables for several hours, the charities were invited to give brief speeches about their work, and one of our own alumni gave a great speech about her experience with YPT. Listening to these charities share stories about their work made me realize that YPT is part of a diverse and important group – CFC charities – that, thanks to the opportunities afforded by the CFC, work to make a difference locally and globally. As I learned, there are over 4,000 charities listed in the current CFC catalogue, so it’s pretty cool that YPT gets to be a part of this campaign. I’m looking forward to meeting more federal employees and charities at the next CFC event.