City of Richardson workers prepare to work on a water main pipe that burst due to extreme cold on Feb. 17 in Richardson, Texas.

City of Richardson workers prepare to work on a water main pipe that burst due to extreme cold on Feb. 17 in Richardson, Texas. LM Otero / AP

OPM Announces Special Combined Federal Campaign for Texas Storm Victims

Washington, D.C.-area federal employees exceeded expectations and previous years’ totals, raising more than $37 million for charities in 2020.

The Office of Personnel Management on Thursday announced that it is opening a special 30-day iteration of the Combined Federal Campaign charity giving drive to help victims of the winter storm that left millions without power and water in Texas last month.

In a memo to agency heads, acting OPM Director Kathleen McGettigan announced the special solicitation, which will run until April 9, and said federal workers will be able to donate to more than 6,000 vetted charities working on response efforts to the winter storm that pushed Texas’ power grid to the brink of collapse.

“Millions of Americans are in great need, with many still without water, food and other basic needs,” she wrote. “In response to the appeals to OPM from the Federal Executive Boards in Houston, Dallas and San Antonio, I have asked the Combined Federal Campaign to open a special solicitation to help victims affected by the severe winter weather, power outages and water shortages in Texas and other affected states.”

Employees who did not pay via payroll allotments during the 2020 Combined Federal Campaign can make a payroll-funded gift during the special solicitation, while donors who already made their payroll allotments for this year can make additional donations through credit and debit cards or automated clearing house payments. Last year, OPM had a similar special solicitation to help charities responding to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“A nationwide special solicitation will allow federal employees to voluntarily support not only the local nonprofit efforts in the state of Texas but also to support nonprofits nationwide who are responding to the devastation caused by the severe winter storm,” McGettigan wrote. “[These] CFC charities are uniquely positioned to supplement the federal government’s overall response by allowing employees to pledge additional resources to these vetted charities and to those that are actively responding to this weather disaster.”

On Wednesday, the organizers of the Combined Federal Campaign in the Washington, D.C., area announced that federal employees in the region exceeded expectations and reversed a years-long downward trend in giving.

During the 2020 Combined Federal Campaign, D.C.-area federal employees gave $37.2 million, more than the Combined Federal Campaign for the National Capital Area’s $30 million goal, and more than the $34.2 million raised in both 2018 and 2019.

Those wishing to donate to the new campaign may do so at the CFC website.

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