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Annual AFAF campaign lets Airmen help Airmen

By Airman Melissa B. Harper | 437th Airlift Wing Public Affairs | Feb. 23, 2007

CHARLESTON AIR FORCE BASE, S.C. — This year's Air Force Assistance Fund campaign will give Team Charleston the opportunity to donate to four organizations that give back to Airmen between Monday and April 6. 

"This is an opportunity for us to give back and help others in the Air Force who need assistance through the organizations under the AFAF," said Capt. Latonya Kelly, 437th Comptroller Squadron deputy budget officer and Charleston AFB AFAF project officer.
This is annual campaign, which is strictly voluntary, benefits active-duty, Reserve, Guard, Air Force retirees and family members. They can be helped with financial obligations such as paying car loans during a time of financial difficulty, getting grants for college or paying for a flight to go home for a funeral. 

"Our goal for this year's campaign is to raise at least $67,000, but I strongly believe that Team Charleston will meet and exceed that goal this year," said Captain Kelly.
Airmen will have the opportunity to donate to any or all four of the charitable organizations through the AFAF campaign. The four charities are Air Force Aid Society, Air Force Villages Indigent Widow's Fund, Air Force Enlisted Village Indigent Widow's Fund and General & Mrs. Lemay Foundation. 

The AFAS provides Airmen and their families with emergency financial assistance, education assistance and various base-level enhancement programs to better the environment for Airmen. 

The Air Force Enlisted Village Indigent Widows' Fund provides a safe and secure place for indigent widows and widowers of retired enlisted Air Force members as well as financial assistance. 

The Air Force Villages Indigent Widows' Fund is a life-care community for retired officers' widows or widowers. 

The General and Mrs. Curtis E. LeMay Foundation provides rent and financial assistance to widows or widowers of officers or enlisted Airmen who want to live in their own homes. 

Master Sgt. Shawna Lukkes, 437 CPTS deputy disbursing officer, donates to the AFAS regularly because the Aid Society helped her when she needed it. 

"As a young Airman, I lived paycheck to paycheck and I didn't have enough money to fix my car nor did I have enough to go home for a death in the family," said Sergeant Lukkes. "My first sergeant recommended I go and see AFAS for help. After that, I have always donated to the Aid Society through the annual campaign." 

Each squadron has a representative assigned as a point of contact for this campaign. They have pledge forms to fill out and submit for the donations. Airmen can make the donations with cash, checks, money orders or payroll deduction. 

Some squadrons may also be holding fundraisers to raise money for the campaign.
"Participation from anyone and everyone in this program is highly encouraged, especially from active-duty Airmen or reservists, because you never know when you could be on the receiving end of something as selfless as this," said Captain Kelly. 

For more information or to participate in the campaign, contact Captain Kelly at 963-3784 or e-mail at latonya.kelly@charleston.af.mil.