When he was 2 years old, Stephen Waldorf was diagnosed with polio, a disease that ultimately destroyed the muscle tissue on his lower left side.
The Detroit acting multimedia specialist learned to walk again with help from several charities, including the March of Dimes and the United Way.
“I came from a large family of 10 brothers and six sisters,” said Waldorf. “My parents could not afford to pay for all the hospital stays, surgeries, braces and physical therapy.”
Because Waldorf has experienced the importance of charitable giving firsthand, he has become an enthusiastic proponent of the Combined Federal Campaign (CFC), the world’s largest charity drive.
He is one of thousands of Postal Service employees who are participating in the latest campaign, which runs from Oct. 2-Jan. 12.
“I felt deeply inside that it was my opportunity to give back,” Waldorf said.
The Michigan native joined the Postal Service in 1987 as a clerk and soon became an advocate of the CFC, even receiving an unsung hero award from the campaign in 2005.
Waldorf, who lost three brothers and his father to cancer, has donated to CFC charities that have aided his family, including the American Cancer Society and the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute.
He wants his colleagues to know that anyone can end up in need of a charity’s help.
“The CFC is not only for a hungry child across the continent or a homeless person in need of shelter, but also for our co-workers, friends, family and even ourselves,” he said.