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Annual AFAF campaign set to kickoff March 19

The AFAF has programs that directly benefit U.S. Air Force active duty, guardsmen and reservists, as well as enlisted or officer spouses, immediate family members and veterans.  The AFAF has four different funds that anybody can donate to, the Air Force Enlisted Village, LeMay Foundation, Air Force Villages Charitable Foundation and the Air Force Aid Society.(U.S. Air Force photo illustration by Airman 1st Class Cody Dowell/released)

The AFAF has programs that directly benefit U.S. Air Force active duty, guardsmen and reservists, as well as enlisted or officer spouses, immediate family members and veterans. The AFAF has four different funds that anybody can donate to, the Air Force Enlisted Village, LeMay Foundation, Air Force Villages Charitable Foundation and the Air Force Aid Society.(U.S. Air Force photo illustration by Airman 1st Class Cody Dowell/released)

Airmen donating to the Air Force Assistance Fund

Airmen from Sheppard Air Force Base, Texas, donate to the Air Force Assistance Fund at Sheppard AFB, March 19, 2019. The kickoff event marked the beginning of the campaign locally and took place in Hangar 1 at the Sheppard Club. Airmen ranging from Airman to Colonel came to the event which included breakfast, two guest speakers and in the end allowed attendees to be one of the first to donate. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Pedro Tenorio)

Airmen donating to the Air Force Assistance Fund

Col. Russel Driggers, left, 80th Flying Training Wing commander, and Col. Scott Belanger, 82nd Training Wing vice commander, donate towards the Air Force Assistance Fund during the local campaign's kickoff event at Sheppard Air Force Base, Texas, March 19, 2019. At the end of the event, Belanger and Driggers were called to the front to become the first ones to donate towards Sheppard's campaign. Last year AFAF raised $77,851.

SHEPPARD AIR FORCE BASE, Texas – When Hurricane Michael ripped through the southeastern part of the United States in October 2018, one of the hardest hit areas was Tyndall AFB, Florida, home of Sheppard’s 372nd Training Squadron Detachment 4.

The losses were devastating to the installation’s infrastructure, equipment and some aircraft, but it is the personal toll it takes on the military members, their families and the retirees that is felt the most. That is where charities that make up the Air Force Assistance Fund play an important role in helping Airmen, families and retirees recover from such a natural disaster.

Airmen, dependents and others at Sheppard AFB and installations around the world have an opportunity to help those in need in the Air Force family by contributing to a charity of their choice – Air Force Aid Society, Air Force Enlisted Village, Air Force Villages Charitable Foundation and the LeMay Foundation – during the annual AFAF campaign, which is from March 19-April 26, 2019.

A kickoff event will mark the beginning of the campaign locally at 7:30 a.m. on March 19 in Hangar 1 at the Sheppard Club.

Unit representatives will reach out to personnel during the campaign to assist with the donation process. People can either donate with cash or check, or they can complete a Form 2561 to have their contribution payroll deducted. Payroll deductions expire after one year.

Needs come in all sizes, big and small. Here is a little information on each charity:

Air Force Aid Society
The AFAS, created by Gen. Henry H. “Hap” Arnold, has been helping Airmen since 1942 by providing emergency financial assistance, educational funding and community programs. More than $180 million has been provided over the past 10 years in response to about 500,000 assist requests by Airmen and their families. Click here for more stories on how Airmen and their families have benefited from the AFAS.

Air Force Enlisted Village
The AFEV has provided housing assistance, temporary and for the rest of their lives, to widows of military members since 1975. Whether a widow of a retired enlisted Air Force member or the surviving spouse of an active duty enlisted member killed in the line of duty, the AFEV uses 100 percent of gift contributed for the benefit of family members in need. Click here for more about the AFEV.

Air Force Villages Charitable Foundation
Since 1974, the AFVCF has invested more than $23 million in care for widowed spouses of retired Air Force officers. In some cases, either surviving spouses have outlived their retirement savings, or finances have been used to take care of costs due to a catastrophic illness. Whatever the cause, the AFVCF has confidentially provided support to help them maintain their lifestyle and continuum of care. For more about the AFVCF, click here.

The LeMay Foundation
Unexpected costs happen for many reasons, and the LeMay Foundation is there to help Air Force enlisted and officer retirees’ surviving spouses in their time of need. The foundation provides hundreds of thousands of dollars annually to help spouses with expenses such as rent or mortgage delinquencies, medical bills, minor home repairs and more to help those who supported their Airman during active duty service and retirement. For more on the LeMay Foundation, click here.