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Give and Make

Employee recalls charity’s aid to sick child

Donna Stires, left, a Bellmawr, NJ, labor relations secretary, and her daughter, Jennifer, received help from the Make-A-Wish Foundation, one of the charities that participate in the Combined Federal Campaign.

Some wishes come true.

Just ask Donna Stires.

The Bellmawr, NJ, labor relations secretary was devastated in 1986 when she learned that her 3-year-old daughter, Jennifer, had leukemia.

Hospital staffers put Stires in touch with the Make-A-Wish Foundation, a charity that fulfills wishes for children with critical illnesses. The foundation is one of more than 7,000 organizations that participate in the Combined Federal Campaign, the government’s annual workplace charity drive.

“They sent us to Disney World for a day. We didn’t ask for it. They just did it for her,” Stires said. “We are extremely and forever grateful.”

Following a brief remission, Jennifer had a relapse at age 5. Stires was told her daughter’s condition was dire.

Again, help was just a phone call away.

“The only thing my daughter wanted at the time was a computer,” Stires said. “The hospital child study team reached out to the Make-A-Wish Foundation and they surprised my daughter with a whole computer system.”

Stires joins other employees who are sharing stories of being helped by organizations that participate in the Combined Federal Campaign, also known as the CFC.

Postal Service employees can use the CFC’s online giving portal or a paper pledge form to donate during the current campaign, which is underway through Jan. 12, 2020.

Jennifer survived leukemia and is now married and working in education.

Stires contributes to the Make-A-Wish Foundation and Leukemia and Lymphoma Society through CFC contributions. She reminds others that organizations like these make a difference.

“We will never forget the day Make-A-Wish showed up. They wouldn’t be able to do that without people donating,” she said.

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