Marilyn Richards

Marilyn Richards

CFC Zone


U.S. Department of Agriculture


Dual-Service Military Veteran and Office Aide de Camp saving organizations from the boredom of paperwork

What is the charitable cause you are most passionate about and why?

Military and Veteran Services. As a military veteran, it is an honor to have served this great country. It has taken many years for me to reach this place in my life where my military service is acknowledged. We have come a long way since the Vietnam War where my father served two combat tours – in thankfulness and gratitude. In his day, it was very difficult to come back to a nation that despised those who wore the uniform. Even in my own personal experience of service in uniform and the challenges I had faced while serving, it has been hard for me to receive such acknowledgement. Today, I appreciate having served our great Nation. I appreciate our freedoms because of the sacrifices made for the glory of our Flag, and the Republic, for which we stand – One Nation, Under God, Indivisible with Liberty, and Justice for All.

"...let us remember the service of our veterans and let us renew our national promise to fulfill our sacred obligations to our veterans and their families who have sacrificed so much so that we can live free.” —Dan Lipinski

Why do you give through the CFC?

I give to the CFC for several reasons. Giving not only provides the benefits of reducing tax burdens and in the betterment of society, but it also shows that charitable giving releases dopamine and endorphins in the brain. Volunteerism, whether in time and/or resources, shows that people have a greater satisfaction in life versus those who do not. I give because it makes me happy. I care about people and want to help do my part to make the world a better place.

There are an overwhelming number of non-profit organizations that do great work. Trying to figure out who to support and what cause to support can be daunting. Not only does CFC makes it convenient to search for charities while also providing stories and information on the impact of charitable contributions, but many have been vetted and registered in the CFC to maintain accountability and trust.

In my search for some charities to donate to, I opted to spread my donations towards organizations such as, Help Heal Veterans, USA Cares, Inc., Military Families Receive Free Mental Health Care Corporation, The PenFed Foundation Military Heroes Fund, Bible Givers International, and Veterans Consortium Pro Bono Program because I believe in their mission and want to support their cause to enhancing the well-being of our military members and their families. I give because I understand the impact that it has made in my own life. One of the foundations that helped me in 2013 was the PenFed Foundation and now that I am at a stable place in my life, I want to give back. I give because - well, it's the only authorized charitable organization solicitation of Federal employees in their workplaces! It's nice to submit a pledge and take it out of my payroll: "Out of sight, out of mind." :-)

How do contributions through the CFC help your cause?

Some popular sayings that come to mind as I reflect on this question:
• A little goes a long way.
• Small efforts lead to greater impact.
• Doing small things well makes the big things happen.

The impact of one dollar or five can do so much! I love that during weekly campaigns, we get to see the value of how donations create change. For example, $29 provides a military member serving overseas with a personal first aid kit. $59 films a deployed service member reading a bedtime story and sends it to their children. $100 puts one of our nation's heroes in the stands of a major sporting event. These examples can picture the impact a contribution can make!

“Do not neglect the day of small things, for little beginnings have big endings” ― Florence Scovel Shinn