NEWS | Feb. 3, 2015

AF Assistance Fund; Airmen helping Airmen

By Senior Airman Jared Trimarchi Joint Base Charleston Public Affairs

Giving back is a way of life in the Air Force, and the annual Air Force Assistance Fund campaign, which begins Feb. 9, 2015 at Joint Base Charleston, is another example of Airmen taking care of Airmen.

The AFAF, which runs by the theme, 'Commitment to Caring,' is made up of four charities, the Air Force Aid Society, the Air Force Enlisted Village, the Air Force Village and the General and Mrs. Curtis E. LeMay Foundation.

The AFAS provides emergency assistance to Airmen and their families, sponsors educational assistance programs, and offers base programs to improve Airman and family welfare.
The AFEV and AFV provide a retirement community for the widowed spouses of retired enlisted members and officers. The LeMay Foundation helps Air Force retirees' widows with grants of assistance to augment incomes which fall below the poverty line.

"There are many great nonprofit organizations in which a donation can help contribute to people going through hard times, but the Air Force Assistance Fund is a way of helping those close to home," said 2nd Lt. Jon Steinagel, 628th Force Support Squadron Installation Personnel Readiness chief and this year's AFAF installation project officer. "The funds go to people who have worn the uniform and sacrificed for our freedoms. They go to our wingmen."

All the money donated to AFAF directly supports Airmen, retirees and their families.

Steinagel has seen first-hand the impacts of AFAF contributions and he is passionate about the organization.

"Recently an Airman's house burned down and he nearly lost everything," Steinagel said. "The Air Force Aid Society helped this Airman and his family get back on their feet through monetary support. Bad things happen to good people all the time and the Air Force Assistance Fund is a great organization to help balance the effects of hardships."

Airmen will have the chance to donate to the voluntary campaign until March 20, 2015 through payroll deduction and cash. In 2014, JB Charleston raised a total of $44,165 and the goal for 2015 is to raise $66,000. 

For more information about the Air Force Assistance Fund, visit www.afassistancefund.org.

To read about the specific organizations, visit www.afev.us, www.afvillages.org, www.afas.org and www.lemay-foundation.org.