AFAF campaign begins

By Capt. Dan Melott: AFAF project officer

The 38th Air Force Assistance Fund officially kicks off at Cannon Air Force Base on Monday and runs through May 6. This year’s theme, “Commitment to Caring” captures the Air Force’s proud heritage of taking care of its own through four charities that assist active-duty, Reserve, Guard, retired Air Force members, surviving spouses and families. It’s the Air Force family taking care of the Air Force family.

One example of how the AFAF directly impacts Air Force members is through the Air Force Aid Society. Last year, AFAS helped over 39,000 airmen with more than $18.3 million in assistance. Closer to home, Cannon received $113,302 in AFAS funds that assisted 138 people directly through loans or grants. Many others were also helped through various community programs such as “Give Parents a Break” and “Bundles for Babies.”

Cannon’s goal this year is to raise $69,244 for these worthwhile organizations. But, if everyone on base contributed just $5 per month (or $60 for the year), which is the cost of one lunch meal a month, Cannon would far exceed its goal by raising more than $240,000.

Anyone can contribute to the AFAF through cash, check,or money order. Active duty military or retired military members can also contribute through the Payroll Deduction Program to the following organizations:

• The Air Force Aid Society, which provides airmen and their families with worldwide emergency financial assistance, education assistance and an array of base level community enhancement programs. Base staff members at the Airman and Family Readiness Center have full details on programs and eligibility requirements. Information is also available at http://www.afas.org/.

• The Air Force Enlisted Village charity supports the Bob Hope and Teresa Villages as well as the Hawthorne House in Florida. The fund provides homes and financial assistance to widows and widowers (55 and older) of retired enlisted people. More information is available at http://www.afenlistedwidows.org.

• The Air Force Villages charity supports the Air Force Village in San Antonio and Village II in the Texas Hill Country, as well as life-care communities for retired officers, spouses, widows or widowers, and family members. Air Force Villages also includes the Freedom House, a residence for Alzheimer’s and Dementia patients, and the Liberty House, an assisted living center. The Air Force Villages website is http://www.airforcevillages.com.

• The General and Mrs. Curtis E. LeMay Foundation provides rent and financial assistance to widows and widowers of officers and enlisted people in their own homes and communities. The LeMay Foundation website is http://www.lemay-foundation.org/.

This is your opportunity to contribute directly to our own Air Force members, past and present. Let’s help take care of our own by contacting your Squadron Key Worker or the installation project officers, Capt. Dan Melott at 784-1555, or Staff Sgt. Mary Allen at 784-2211, to donate today.

For more information about Air Force Assistance Fund, visit http://afassistancefund.org/