With a new theme of “Taking Care of Our Own – For Airmen, By Airmen,” the 47th annual Air Force Assistance Fund campaign at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base begins March 2 and runs through April 10.
The annual AFAF campaign raises funds for AFAF-affiliated charities that assist active-duty, Reserve, Guard and retired Air Force personnel and their families, said Lt. Col. William Holl, 88th Mission Support Group deputy commander and AFAF installation project officer.
This year’s campaign goal is $107,346, which is only 11% of Wright-Patt’s calculated potential.
A kickoff event will coincide with March’s First Friday on March 6 at the Wright-Patterson Club starting at 3:30 p.m., with 88th Air Base Wing senior leadership expected to participate, Holl said. He said he is excited to be helping to coordinate the campaign.
“Obviously, it’s taking care of Airmen by Airmen. It’s always a great opportunity to give back a little bit,” he said. “It doesn’t take much out of each person’s pocket to make a difference. If everyone contributes at least a small amount every month, we will make our goal.”
Airmen have the option to donate to one or more of the four AFAF charities: Air Force Villages Charitable Foundation, Air Force Aid Society, Air Force Enlisted Village and the LeMay Foundation.
Holl knows firsthand what it means to be a beneficiary of the AFAS. When he was a young husband, father and Airman at his first permanent duty station, his father fell into a coma and Holl needed to go home.
“Being a one-striper and young with no money and a family, I turned to my first sergeant who put me in touch with what served as the Air Force Aid Society. They gave me a no-interest grant, and it covered my gas and food so I could go take care of my family,” he recalled. “Without that, I don’t know how I would have gotten home. At the time I didn’t even have a credit card.”
Just like Holl, many Airmen at Wright-Patterson AFB benefited from AFAF contributions last year, he said, to the total of more than $161,000.
“That consisted of 267 recipients,” Holl said. “So when you think about our goal here at the base, it doesn’t even touch how much went out to our Airmen. It’s very vital that we work together as an Air Force family to at least meet, if not exceed, our goal. We’ve seen how it’s helped our own.”
Last year the Air Force’s campaign met only 54% of the goal.
“We want to have a good showing for Wright-Patt in helping to achieve a higher percentage this year,” Holl said.
Although there is a large civilian population at Wright-Patterson AFB, civilians cannot be solicited for donations but are invited to contribute. Civilians who wish to contribute to AFAF should contact their unit project officer.
E-giving is new this year
The AFAF campaign is offering e-giving this year via texting AFAF to 50155 or scanning a QR code from one of the many posters that are being posted on base. Members can opt for payroll deduction or a one-time gift online.
One note: e-giving payroll deduction starts immediately and may overlap the previous campaign, which ran from June 1, 2019, to May 1, 2020, resulting in two deductions per pay period until May 1 this year.
In lieu of e-giving, donations to the AFAF can be made by cash, check or payroll deduction by completion of a pdf form provided by unit project officers that is then printed in triplicate and turned into the unit project officer.
Contributions to the AFAF may be tax deductible.
For more information, first contact a unit project officer. The installation project officers are Holl at 937-257-3424, email@example.com; Senior Master Sgt. Michael Stegen, 937-528-2929, firstname.lastname@example.org; and Master Sgt. Ashely Fuquay, 937-255-3491.
Additional information on AFAF is available online at www.afassistancefund.org.
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