Air Force charitable giving campaign reaches halfway mark

Air Force logo

caption arrowCaption
Air Force logo

Support to active-duty, retirees on track to double from 2020

By several measures, the 48th annual Air Force Assistance Fund campaign at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base is already a success.

The annual AFAF drive, with this year’s theme of “Taking Care of Our Own – For Airmen and Guardians, By Airmen and Guardians,” raises funds for affiliated charities that assist active-duty, Reserve, Guard, and retired Air Force and Guardian personnel and their families. The campaign runs through April 23.

“We are at the midpoint,” said Lt. Col. Barbara Shephard, the 2021 AFAF installation project officer, along with Maj. Gordon Randall, the 88th Comptroller Squadron’s director of operations. “Most importantly, most units have already made 100% contact, which is our primary goal, while we work toward our monetary goal of $108,736.

“We are on a path to double the base’s prior-year AFAF contribution. Our base community is truly amazing,” Randall added.

The campaign’s four Air Force charities include the General and Mrs. Curtis E. LeMay Foundation, Air Force Enlisted Village, Air Force Villages Charitable Foundation and Air Force Aid Society.

In 2020, the Wright-Patt Air Force Aid Society distributed nearly $78,000 in loans and grants to Airmen, said Shephard, a logistics readiness officer assigned to the Air Force Institute of Technology’s School of Systems and Logistics as a course director.

“AFAS provided over 140 instances of aid to Airmen in need. Every dollar donated changes a life,” she said.

Added Randall: “As the last 12 months have brought challenges across the world, it is all the more reason to reach out and donate because there are people in need. We can make a difference and change lives for the better.”

The 2021 AFAF campaign’s overall goal is to raise $4.57 million, said John Roth, acting secretary of the Air Force.

“In the current COVID-19 environment, our key workers are limited from going desk-to-desk to share with their fellow Airmen and Guardians the great good being done through the four charities for the Department of the Air Force,” he said. “That makes this goal more difficult to attain, but we are up to the challenge. When the pandemic struck, our four charities launched into immediate action.

“The Air Force Villages Charitable Foundation and Air Force Enlisted Village ramped up staff to keep their facilities disinfected, safeguard staff and residents, and deliver medications and groceries right to the doors of those in need. The LeMay Foundation provided a stipend for all of its surviving spouse clients to help them pay for the added expenses of medication and grocery deliveries. The Air Force Aid Society provided $2 million in support to Airmen, Guardians and their families impacted by COVID-19.”

Donations can be made directly through AFAF’s website at www.afassistancefund.org/index.php/donate/, by texting “AFAF” to 50155 or scanning a QR code from one of the many posters around base. Civilians cannot be solicited but are invited to contribute.

The e-giving platforms allow members to donate one time or monthly to any of the four charities using a credit or debit card. The website also provides instructions for sending a check, cashier’s check or money order. Active-duty, retirees and eligible guardsmen/reservists can make a deduction up to 12 months.

Even a $5 donation can go far in somebody’s life, Shephard said.

“This program is about who benefits from it – Airmen, Guardians and retirees,” she added. “This is about your friends, your co-workers – this could be you. This is all of us. You’re never going to know when you are going to need help. It truly is Airmen and Guardians taking care of Airmen and Guardians.”

AFAF contributions may be tax-deductible.

For more information, contact a unit project officer. Additional details on AFAF are available at www.afassistancefund.org.

You can also contact Shephard at barbara.shephard@afit.edu or Randall at gordon.randall.1@us.af.mil.

About the Author