Carolyn's Story

CarolynAssistant Inspector General for Audit Policy and Oversight Carolyn Hantz is a long-time supporter of the Combined Federal Campaign (CFC). Through the CFC, Hantz supports autism charities because she is the mother of a 20-year-old son who has autism and is non-verbal.

“When you have a child you are always hopeful that they are going to be perfect, and when you find out your child isn’t perfect in a normal sense, though they are perfect in other ways and very special, you need assistance,” said Hantz. “CFC organizations have helped me a lot, from the point of even identifying what his issue was, and also sent a doctor to his nursery school to teach the people at the nursery school how to deal with children with special needs.”

Through CFC charities, Hantz was able to get her son into a school for autistic children, and a few years later when her first husband developed prostate cancer, the school provided critical assistance to help explain and work through the illness and death with her intellectually-disabled child.

“They put together picture storybooks that helped explain what was going on,” she said. “He’s been at the school for a while, and they are now getting him set up with an electronic communications device to encourage him to have a voice and be more independent.”

Hantz first experienced the work CFC did more than 20 years ago, for two uncles with HIV/AIDS who required assistance. A CFC organization educated the family on caregiving, and at a certain point when 24-hour care was required for one of the uncles and the family was unable to be there, the organization filled in the gaps. The other uncle was so inspired, he wanted to give back and worked with the CFC organization as a volunteer to help others.

“One thing this year that hasn’t been done in the past, [CFC] is allowing volunteer hours to be a part of the campaign. There’s a special symbol, if you want to give volunteer hours, you can do that,” Hantz explained. “And that reminded me of my uncle who, although he was sick, chose to volunteer. CFC recognizes that not everyone is able to give money, but people are willing to give of their time, and that’s a nice option.”

“Every dollar makes a difference,” Hantz said. “Most people drink a cup of coffee a day; you’d be amazed how much of a difference in the lives of others the price of that coffee can make.”