Friday, March 9, 2007

TOP STORY >>AFAF drive takes off, continues through April 13

By Maj. Elizabeth Clay
Air Force Assistance Fund Installation Project Officer

Air Force members can show their “Commitment to Caring” by donating to the Air Force Assistance Fund Drive that continues through April 13. The annual campaign raises money for four charitable organizations benefiting active duty, Reserve, Air National Guard and retired Air Force people and their families, including surviving spouses and their families. Contributors are able to designate one or more charities to receive their contribution, and 100 percent of their AFAF contribution is passed to their chosen charities.

“The Air Force Assistance Fund is very important to Little Rock Air Force Base Airmen and their families. This is the one effort that is solely for Airmen and their families. It’s a way we take care of our own,” said 314th Airlift Wing Commander Brig. Gen. Kip Self. “Our people have historically opened their heart and wallets to give back and that generosity sends a powerful message to our entire service. We’re a close-knit family and it shows through our commitment to one another.”

This year’s goal is $75,289 and 50 percent participation rate. If we achieve both the monetary goal and the 50 percent participation rate, the base will receive up to $2,500 to benefit the base community. The installation commander decides how these funds can best be used to benefit the community.

The organizations that benefit from the AFAF are the Air Force Aid Society, the Air Force Enlisted Foundation, the Air Force Village Indigent Widows’ Fund and the General and Mrs. Curtis E. LeMay Foundation. AFAS is the official charity of the Air Force. It assists active duty members and their families facing financial emergencies. It also assists Reserve and Guard personnel serving on extended active duty.

Air Force retirees and widows are also considered for assistance on a case-by-case basis. Society funds support a variety of assistance programs and community initiatives, including the General Henry H. Arnold Education Grant Program, Bundles for Babies, the Give Parents a Break Programs, Car Care Because We Care, and special phone cards for deployed members. The Family Support Center has more information on these programs. AFAS gave over $276,000 in 2006 to assist Little Rock AFB programs.

The Air Force Enlisted Foundation is dedicated to the care of widows, widowers and dependents of Air Force enlisted personnel. AFEF has almost 400 housing units in Fort Walton Beach and Shalimar, Fla. that provide residents with an affordable place to live.

Eligible for subsidized housing facilities through this program are widows and widowers, 55 and older, whose spouses were retired enlisted persons from the Air Force, Guard or Reserve. No one is refused assistance due to financial status. The Air Force Village Indigent Widows’ Fund provides total life care for retired officers and their spouses, widows or widowers and family members.

The fund also offers several other services to active duty officers and their families left in need through a variety of uncontrollable circumstances. The General and Mrs. Curtis E. LeMay Foundation offers assistance for rent and other financial support to widows and widowers of military personnel, officer and enlisted, who have been left to survive with little or no financial resources.

It allows families to continue living in their own communities without having to struggle to meet the daily needs of food, rent and utilities. Last year, Little Rock Air Force Base contributed more than $106,000 to the Air Force Assistance Fund. Project officers in each unit will have detailed campaign information and unit goals. Every active duty member has the opportunity to contribute to the four AFAF charities by cash or by initiating a payroll deduction plan.

Reserve and Air National Guard personnel, as well as civilians, are welcome to contribute cash to the campaign.
For more information, contact a squadron project officers or myself at 425-6058.


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