Come together with AFAF

  • Published
  • By Master Sgt. Peggy Rollins
  • 23rd Wing Public Affairs
In the early 1990s, I was a young airman first class and single mother, and it was difficult to make ends meet. Sometimes I would not even be living paycheck to paycheck and there were times when I would fall behind on a bill or wonder how I would feed my one-year old son.

This is when I learned about the Air Force Aid Society. I was referred to the Family Support Center (now the Airman and Family Readiness Center) by my first sergeant. I completed the necessary paperwork and was provided a $200 check to buy groceries from the Commissary.

From that day forward, I vowed when I was financially able I would give back--and I have ever since.

The Air Force Aid Society is one of four organizations benefitting from contributions, with most of these donations provided during the six-week Air Force Assistance Fund campaign. The other benefiting organizations are the Air Force Enlisted Village, Air Force Village and the LeMay Foundation.

The Air Force Aid Society offers emergency interest-free loans to service members when family living or emergency expenses become overwhelming. They help to alleviate the burden and enable Airmen to perform their duty.

The Air Force Enlisted Village's mission is to provide a home. AFEV has been home to more than 1,500 surviving spouses since 1975, and currently provides comfortable, safe housing for 450. The AFEV always has a waiting list, but has never turned away anyone due to economic need.

The Air Force Village is a retirement community with an extraordinary charitable mission--to care for retired Air Force officer widows who need financial assistance. AFV has contributed more than $12 million in confidential support to indigent widows since 1970. In many cases, catastrophic illness depleted their savings or they outlived the money they put aside for retirement. AFV affords widows dignity, peace of mind, an honorable lifestyle and long-term health care.

The LeMay Foundation awards grants to enlisted and officer retirees and their spouses. The primary beneficiaries are stalwart widows who supported their families and active duty spouses. In 2008, monthly grants benefitted 64 women augmenting incomes that fell below the poverty line and gave one-time grants (for necessities such as wheelchairs and prosthetics) to another 23 widows.

In these hard economic times, I know it appears everyone is begging for donations for their organizations.

Well, these four provide support to the Air Force family (active duty, retirees, reservists, guard and their dependents, including surviving spouses) in need.

Some of the people who received assistance from the AFAS needed aid for funerals, utilities, emergency leave, moving assistance, childcare assistance, and emergencies/disasters...remember the great flood last year?

If you are able, consider being a "wingman" and give your fair share. You can donate by payroll deductions (allotments begin June 1), cash, check, or money order, as a one-time donation. These donations are tax deductible.

This year, Moody's goal is $79,337. This goal is based on everyone giving their "fair share" or one percent of the annual base pay. Last year, Moody personnel donated $52,592. It should be noted, $311,528 was distributed by Moody's A&FRC. This is quite a big difference but think of the impact to those who received assistance.

The 2010 Air Force Assistance Aid Campaign dates are March 29-May 7. Let's come together and assist our current and past Airmen.

For more information on AFAF, visit