SHEPPARD AIR FORCE BASE, Texas – Have you ever heard of the Air Force Assistance Fund?
You probably have, and haven’t realized it. When asked, many Airmen on Air Force bases around the world identify this program as the “time of the year when we are asked to donate money.” They may feel compelled to donate to a cause that they don’t understand or never see the benefit. But, for others, it’s much more than that.
The AFAF is an annual effort to raise funds that contribute to four charities that provide support to our Air Force family in need. It is the only authorized work-place campaign in the Air Force that is “For Us, By Us!” Beneficiaries of these charities include active duty, retirees, reservists, guard and our dependents, including surviving spouses.
Here are the four AFAF charities:
- The Air Force Aid Society is a financial resource utilized to assist military members and their families for varying financial needs ranging from educational scholarships to emergency shelters, utility coverage, childcare, and so much more.
- The Air Force Enlisted Village provides a safe and secure home for surviving spouses of enlisted Airmen.
- The Air Force Villages Charitable Foundation provides care and housing for surviving spouses of retired U.S. Air Force Officers.
- The General and Mrs. Curtis E. LeMay Foundation awards grants to enlisted and officer retirees’ surviving spouses that fall below the poverty line to assist with dental, medical, prescription, mortgage and rent delinquencies.
So, maybe you’re asking, “how does this impact me?” During the 2019 AFAF Campaign at Sheppard AFB, $71,185 was raised to support these programs. Sheppard dispersed $112,603 in AFAF funds in 2019, which is approximately a $41,000 deficit from what was raised during the campaign.
Our mission at Sheppard AFB is unique, compared to other bases within Air Education and Training Command, due to our large student population. While this benefit is not targeted specifically towards younger Airmen, it can be a life line to assist individuals in time of crisis. Airmen of all ranks as well as dependents often experience unexpected life expenses which require additional support. The AFAF can help to mitigate those costs and soften the impact of a crisis during a time of need.
The Sheppard AFB AFAF Campaign kicks off March 2, 2020, and will end April 10, 2020. We will initiate the campaign with a friendly chili cook-off between squadrons, with benefits going directly to the AFAF campaign. You can become involved in the campaign by participating in our Kickoff Event, volunteering within your squadron, or donating directly to the campaign.
For questions about volunteering with the campaign, participating in the events, or donating, please contact your squadron representatives, Master Sgt. Kurtis Stadsvold at 940-676-0593 or Capt. Carla Turrentine at 940-676-6075.
Let’s make 2020 a great campaign to assist our fellow Airmen.