Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph, Texas --
The annual Air Force Assistance Fund campaign officially kicked off across the Department of the Air Force March 1 and will run through April 9.
The AF Assistance Fund raises money for four charities that take care of Airmen, Guardians, and their families. Those four charities are the Air Force Enlisted Village, the General and Mrs. Curtis E. LeMay Foundation, the Air Force Villages Charitable Foundation, and the Air Force Aid Society.
“Though there are thousands of worthy charities to give to, this is the only official Department of the Air Force campaign that is ‘for us, by us’.”, said Bill D'Avanzo, Department of the Air Force fundraising chief. “This year’s theme is “For Airmen and Guardians, by Airmen and Guardians.”
The AFAF supports Airmen and Guardians serving on active-duty, as well as eligible Air National Guard and Reserve members, retirees, spouses, immediate family members and surviving family members of deceased retirees.
Airmen and Guardians may make donations by visiting http://www.afassistancefund.org and clicking the donate button. Members may contribute via e-check, debit or credit card. To donate with a paper check, a donation form is available on the site, which can be filled out, printed, and mailed in along with the check. If the donor is a retiree, a payroll deduction plan is also available.
D’Avanzo said key workers in every squadron will contact members eligible to give; if you have not been contacted, reach out to your Airman & Family Readiness Center’s Air Force Aid Society Officer who can put members in touch with the Installation Project Officer.
He added because the AFAF is a “for us, by us” campaign, key workers and unit project officers are limited to soliciting donations from uniformed Department of the Air Force and retired members; however, civilians and contractors who would like to donate may do so by cash or check, or by using the e-Giving platform.
Last year’s campaign raised $2.13 million toward the charities, even as the pandemic shutdowns were just starting the week after the campaign began. This year’s goal, he said, is to raise $4.5 million.
“It’s difficult for our campaign workers to go desk-to-desk with so many members teleworking,” said D’Avanzo. “We’re doing what we can this year by using e-Giving platforms and peer-to-peer fundraising so our campaign workers have more tools at their disposal and our contributors have more avenues to donate.”
The Air Force Aid Society helps active duty Airmen and Guardians in times of emergencies by providing loans and grants, and also supports base enhancement programs.
The Air Force Enlisted Village, for enlisted widows and widowers, and the Air Force Villages Charitable Foundation, for officer widows and widowers, provide secure and friendly places to live among friends with similar backgrounds.
The LeMay Foundation supports widows and widowers of Department of the Air Force retirees, both officer and enlisted, in the event of a financial need by giving assistance grants.
D’Avanzo said the team of charities is committed to helping Airmen, Guardians and their families, but can only do so with financial support to the campaigns.
“They are only able to continue providing assistance because our predecessors gave to the AFAF campaign for the past 47 years,” he said. “Now it’s our turn to pay it forward. Today we may be donating but tomorrow we may be calling for assistance.”
Specific AFAF campaign dates for each installation may vary. Contact your local AFAF representative for installation-specific information. To watch informational videos about AFAF, visit the AFAF YouTube page at https://www.youtube.com/AFAssistancefund or view the AFAF memo for Total Force Airmen and retirees.