A commitment to caring with the Air Force Assistance Fund



Commentary by Capt. Joshua Stallings
Staff pharmacist, 42nd Medical Support Squadron


3/2/2012 - MAXWELL AIR FORCE BASE, Ala. -- Spring is here again, and that means it's time for the Air Force Assistance Fund.
Every year we as a force put aside six weeks to raise money for four charities who serve Airmen all year long.

The AFAF is made up of charities whose benefits are only available to those in the Air Force family. The Air Force Aid Society, Air Force Village, Air Force Enlisted Village, and the Gen. and Mrs. Curtis E. LeMay Foundation provide benefits to Airmen and their families in various ways.

The Air Force Aid Society, or AFAS, is the official charity of the Air Force, established during the Army Air Corps era in 1942 by Gen. Henry "Hap" Arnold to relieve some of the financial stress Air Force families were experiencing during World War II.

Today, AFAS provides assistance to Air Force members in three ways - emergency assistance, educational grants and community programs. Countless Airmen have benefited with funds to travel during a family crisis or the means to make ends meet when life throws unexpected curves.

In 2011, AFAS received $4.5 million in contributions raised during AFAF. During the same year, AFAS provided $17.7 million in support to Airmen and their families. AFAS has been there to help when the need is great.

The Air Force Village, Air Force Enlisted Village and the Gen. and Mrs. Curtis E. LeMay Foundation provide financial assistance, housing and medical care when needed for widows or widowers of retired Air Force personnel. These organizations exist to make sure Air Force family members who gave so much can live in comfort and dignity.

This year, our focus is not on Airmen giving more but more Airmen giving. Even small contributions can add up to big sums when many decide to make a difference.

The suggested donation for most ranks is much less than the cost of one lunch out a month. When you think about your donation in that light, wouldn't you buy lunch for another Airmen if you knew they needed it?

Our contributions to the AFAF give us a chance to serve and make a real, positive difference in the lives of Airmen everywhere everyday. This year the AFAF campaign on Maxwell-Gunter runs from Monday to April 13. See your AFAF unit rep today to contribute.