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A 'Commitment to Caring' with our Air Force Assistance Fund

MAXWELL AIR FORCE BASE, Al -- Given the current economic climate, it goes without saying that many people are making difficult decisions, cutting back on spending and foregoing anything but the bare essentials. That can mean hard choices when considering making charitable donations. If you're a regular or occasional contributor to good causes, you might be seriously curtailing your gifts.

Whether you're a seasoned donor or you've rarely or never give to charity, many of you may have been moved by how the Air Force Assistance Fund charities have impacted our Air Force families' lives, yet find that you have little money to give. This can be very upsetting and frustrating, but rest assured, the good news is that there are ways to make a real difference without much money. Here are a couple of ideas you could put into practice today, whatever your financial circumstances. Why not give one a try?

The "latte factor" - even $1 is worth giving

You might not be able to contribute $20 a month to a good cause like the AFAF, but how about $5 or $2? For going that morning cup of coffee once a month could give you enough for this. The next time you think that your $1 or $2 won't make a difference, consider the following: It's like voting; each individual's act may be as insignificant as a single drop of water, but added together, those drops can form a river strong and powerful enough to sweep change across the world.

Loose change - the forgotten money reserve

Do your pockets end up full of small change? Many of us have a jar of coins gathering dust at home. How about saving up all your nickels and dimes for a month and donating them to the AFAF? You're very unlikely to miss them!

The Air Force Asssistance Fund covers four charities that exist to financially assist our Air Force family. The Air Force Aid Society, Air Force Village, Air Force Enlisted Village, and The General and Mrs. Curtis E. LeMay Foundation provide assistance to members of our larger Air Force family in specific ways.

The Air Force Aid Society is the official charity of the Air Force. It was established during the Army Air Corps era in 1942 by General Hap Arnold to help relieve some of the financial stress Air Force families were experiencing during WWII.

Today, AFAS provides assistance to Air Force members in three ways, emergency assistance, educational grants and community programs. Countless lives have been blessed with funds to travel during a family crisis or the means to make ends meet when life throws unexpected curves. AFAS has been there to help when the need is great.

The Air Force Village, Air Force Enlisted Village and the General 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 our Air Force family members who gave so much can live out their lives in comfort and dignity.

Contributing to the Air Force Assistance Fund gives us a chance to serve and make a real, positive difference in the lives of members of our Air Force family.

The AFAF campaign on Maxwell-Gunter AFB begins Monday and runs through May 7. See your AFAF unit rep today to contribute.