Active AFAF campaign drive takes a pause, e-giving desperately needed

The active, initial part of the 47th annual Air Force Assistance Fund campaign at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base is pausing May 8, but contributors will continue to be desperately needed.

The annual AFAF campaign, using the theme of “Taking Care of Our Own,” raises funds for AFAF-affiliated charities that assist active-duty, Reserve, Guard and retired Air Force personnel and their families. Contributors will get another chance in July when the campaign undergoes a “lightning round” from July 13-24 and can be conducted in more of a “desk-to-desk/face-to-face” fashion.

AFAF is unique in that it is the only authorized on-the-job USAF fundraising campaign that is “For Airmen, By Airmen! #ForAirmen.”

The July push is being organized nationally to help the AFAF reach its goal.

This year’s campaign goal at Wright-Patterson AFB is $107,346, and as of May 4, just more than 27 percent of the goal had been reached. Last year, the AFAS alone paid out three times more than what was received in contributions from Wright-Patt, Holl said.

“We will still accept donations anytime during the pause, but unit project officers and key workers will not be actively soliciting during this time,” said Lt. Col. William Holl, AFAF installation project officer. “E-giving will be the preferred option from May 9 to July 12. Donors should still contact their unit project officer for a donation control number and provide their receipt to the project officer so they can enter the donation in the campaign tracker database.

“We are in desperate need of contributions before we suspend the first part of the campaign,” he said.

The Air Force Aid Society, as well as the other three charities, exist to give a little bit of financial help to Airmen, Holl said. “There are people coming out of our current situation that will have a need.”

Gary Sapp, a community readiness consultant at the Airman & Family Readiness Center, helps coordinate AFAS loans and grants to Airmen at Wright-Patt.

“The Air Force Aid Society at Wright-Patt has always been ready and willing to assist Airmen and retirees and their dependents when emergency situations occur,” he said. “It tries to provide means for stabilizing the family so they are taken care of and the Air Force mission continues.”

Perhaps Airmen need help with basic living expenses, they have vehicle repairs or a spouse has lost his or her job due to COVID-19. Those are instances where the AFAS can help after the Airman or retiree completes an application and his or her eligibility is verified by Sapp and others.

“Based on the need, the Air Force Aid Society will step in to assist with an interest-free loan or in certain situations, the loan would be considered a grant,” he said.

“We don’t think about how important it is to have organizations like the Air Force Aid Society,” he continued. “They are the official charity for the United States Air Force.”

Sapp, a 26-year Air Force retiree, recalled when he and his wife were blessed with twins early in his career. His wife had had to leave her job when they were assigned to McGuire AFB, New Jersey.

“I had more children than I had stripes,” he said. “As an Airman, you don’t make a whole lot of money and you’re concerned about supporting your family. How can you focus on the Air Force mission when you’re worried about how you’re going to put food on the table?”

The AFAS helped Sapp and his family get over that hump, he said. He now focuses on getting word out about AFAS to first sergeants and other leaders so Airmen can be taken care of and they, in turn, can focus on doing their jobs.

Military, civilians may take part in campaign

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. All who wish to participate need to contact their UPO for a control number.

How to e-give

The AFAF campaign is offering e-giving this year via texting AFAF to 50155. Members can opt for payroll deduction or a one-time gift online.

In lieu of e-giving, donations to the AFAF can be made via payroll deduction by completing a pdf form provided by unit project officers that is then signed digitally 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 Lt. Col. William Holl, AFAF installation project officer, 937-257-3424,; Senior Master Sgt. Michael Stegen, 937-528-2929,; and Master Sgt. Ashely Fuquay, 937-255-3491,

Additional information on AFAF is available online at

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