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Air Force Assistance Fund is dedicated to helping Airmen and their families

Col. David Berg, 55th Wing vice commander and Chief Master Sgt. Brian Kruzelnick, 55th Wing command chief, fill out a form in support of the Air Force Assistance Fund at the 55th Wing headquarters on Offutt Air Force Base, Neb., March 30, 2018.

Col. David Berg, 55th Wing vice commander and Chief Master Sgt. Brian Kruzelnick, 55th Wing command chief, fill out a form in support of the Air Force Assistance Fund at the 55th Wing headquarters on Offutt Air Force Base, Neb., March 30, 2018. The fund’s mission is to raise money for charities that directly support members of the Air Force family in need, including active duty, retirees, reservists, guard and their dependents, as well as surviving spouses. (U.S. Air Force photo by Zachary Hada)

Col. David Berg, 55th Wing vice commander and Chief Master Sgt. Brian Kruzelnick, 55th Wing command chief, fill out a form in support of the Air Force Assistance Fund at the 55th Wing headquarters on Offutt Air Force Base, Neb., March 30, 2018.

Col. David Berg, 55th Wing vice commander and Chief Master Sgt. Brian Kruzelnick, 55th Wing command chief, fill out a form in support of the Air Force Assistance Fund at the 55th Wing headquarters on Offutt Air Force Base, Neb., March 30, 2018. The fund’s mission is to raise money for charities that directly support members of the Air Force family in need, including active duty, retirees, reservists, guard and their dependents, as well as surviving spouses. (U.S. Air Force photo by Zachary Hada)

AFAF

The 2018 Air Force Assistance Fund campaign runs from March 26 to May 4.The AFAF has four different charities: the Air Force Aid Society, Air Force Enlisted Village, Air Force Villages Charitable Foundation and the General and Mrs. Curtis E. LeMay Foundation. (U.S. Air Force courtesy photo)

OFFUTT AIR FORCE BASE, Neb. --

The annual Air Force Assistance Fund campaign has begun for 2018 with the focus on Airmen helping each other through four affiliate charities.

The charities included in the AFAF are the Air Force Aid Society, Air Force Villages Charitable Foundation, General and Mrs. Curtis LeMay Foundation and the Air Force Enlisted Village.

“Each year there is a charity drive called the Combined Federal Campaign and many out there might not understand the reason that AFAF charities are not included in that campaign,” said Capt. Angel Briseno, 2018 AFAF Offutt AFB Installation Project Officer.  “The original Air Force Emergency Relief Drive became the AFAF in 1971 and since these charities provide services exclusively for military and not to the general public, CFC policy makers objected to AFAF charities being included in the campaign.”

“The AFAF is not out to exclude anyone, we just want to take better care of our Airmen,” he added.

Active duty Airmen, retirees, Reservists and Guardsmen will be canvassed by representatives before the deadline for those willing to contribute. Civilians can contribute but you will need to contact the representatives directly to contribute and you will only be able to contribute by cash or check.

 The Air Force Enlisted Village supports the Bob Hope Village in Shalimar, Florida, near Eglin Air Force Base. The fund provides homes and financial assistance to retired enlisted members' surviving spouses who are 55 and older. It also supports Hawthorn House (also in Shalimar), which provides assisted living and memory care for residents, including limited nursing services when needed.

The Air Force Aid Society provides Total Force Airmen and their families worldwide with emergency financial assistance, educational support and various base-level community enhancement programs.

The Air Force Villages Charitable Foundation supports independent assisted living and memory and nursing care for retired officers and their spouses, surviving spouses and family members. Communities are located in San Antonio, Texas, close to Lackland Air Force Base and the San Antonio Military Medical Center.

The General and Mrs. Curtis E. LeMay Foundation provides monetary grants for rent and other purposes to surviving spouses of officer and enlisted retirees. Grants include one-time payments to help with unexpected expenses and monthly assistance to help surviving spouses remain in their homes and live with dignity.

One-time donations are accepted by cash or check to one or more of these AFAF funds. Active-duty members and retirees can donate by giving monthly from their military pay accounts to one or more of the funds. Active-duty members can choose to have payroll deductions for three to 12 months, while retirees can do so for 12 months. Under certain conditions, Guard and Reserve members can sign up for payroll deductions for three to 12 months beginning in June.

The AFAF goal for Offutt this year is around $98,000 and will end on May 4.

“It always blows me away to see how generous Airmen can be at all levels,” Briseno said.  “From the volunteers who have stepped up to lead this campaign to the generosity of all the donors.”

For information about the AFAF, visit www.afassistancefund.org. To donate, contact a squadron representative.

“I get to see first-hand that service to others isn't just something Airmen provide because it's their job,” Briseno said. “They do it because it's ingrained in who they are - and it's very humbling to be a part of that.