SCHRIEVER AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. --
The Air Force Assistance Fund Campaign began Thursday at Schriever Air Force Base and will run through May 8.
Schriever Airmen raised $18,500 in 2019 and expect to raise $25,342 for multiple charities this year.
The campaign is an annual, on-the-job fundraiser Airmen conduct to benefit other Airmen – past and current. The AFAF campaign contributions provide financial support to the four affiliates. Those include: the Air Force Aid Society, the Air Force Village Charitable Foundation, the Air Force Enlisted Village and the General and Mrs. Curtis E. Lemay Foundation.
“The AFAF is unlike any other charity as it focuses on us – active duty members and retirees,” said Senior MSgt. Jason Spedding, 50th Security Forces Squadron operations superintendent and AFAF project officer. “This is the only official “for Airmen, by Airmen” campaign. We have to depend on each other to provide for the increased assistance demand that will certainly increase in coming weeks.”
The campaign typically involves face-to-face interaction to collect donations, but physical distancing guidelines forced Airmen to develop an alternate plan. Now, group project officers will contact Airmen by phone or email to let them know of the campaign/opportunity.
“It’s the virus that makes this year’s campaign so important,” he said. “Giving to the AFAF campaign is ‘paying it forward,’ because as Airmen, we never know when we or our families are going to need the assistance of one of these charities who have helped us take care of our own for years.”
The AFAS, established in 1942 by General Henry H. Arnold, attempts to accomplish three missions with its funds: Emergency financial assistance to Airmen and their families, educational support and community enhancement programs.
“For over 75 years, the AFAS has been providing Airmen grants during emergencies,” said 1st Lt. Joshua Lewis, 3rd Space Experimentation Squadron officer in charge of evaluations and AFAF project officer. “Air Force Aid also helps fund college tuition for spouses and dependent children through their scholarship programs. AFAS community enhancement programs vary from base to base, but on Schriever AFB they include: Bundles for Babies, Give Parents a Break, childcare for PCS and volunteers, Heartlink and Car Care Because We Care.”
Funds also assist retired Airmen’s spouses to help alleviate financial hardships.
The General and Mrs. Curtis E. Lemay Foundation, named after Air Force’s fifth chief of staff, “has helped over 1,000” retirees’ widows and widowers with emergency expenses and home repairs and medical needs.
“Since 1987, the LeMay Foundation has provided assistance through grants,” Lewis said. “The LeMay Foundation is here so our surviving spouses can remain living in their own home with the dignity that they deserve after standing with us all those years while we were in the Air Force. Most of their donations come from us active duty Airmen.”
The AFVCF provides financial support for surviving spouses of officers. Donations support “Blue Skies of Texas,” which offers independent living homes, assisted living facilities and memory and nursing care. The AFEV also strives to help surviving spouses of officers afford housing without financial struggles.
“Both [the AFVCF and AFEV] provide surviving spouses a home with like-minded Air Force family members that’s close to military medical facilities and benefits,” Spedding said. “We have to depend on each other to provide for the increased assistance demand that will certainly increase in coming weeks. Please help your fellow Airman by giving today.”
For additional information about the Air Force Assistance Fund, visit AFAssistanceFund.org.