Air Force Aide

Air Force Aid Society (AFAS)

The Air Force Aid Society (AFAS) is the official charity of the Air Force. It promotes the Air Force mission by helping "to relieve distress of Air Force members and their families and assisting them to finance their education." 

It is rooted in the original Army Air Corps and the World War II Army Air Forces, whose members wanted to "take care of their own." Through the years, the AFAS has become increasingly effective in helping individuals with personal emergencies-as well as extremely useful when used by commanders to help solve personnel problems in their units. 

The AFAS, since its creation in 1942 as a non-profit organization, has helped countless members of the Air Force community. Strong support for AFAS programs and objectives is reinforced each year by the substantial personal contributions made by the active force, all of which are used solely for emergency assistance. Although AFAS receives no appropriated or non-appropriated funds, close ties are maintained between the Society and Air Force officials.

Emergency Assistance usually combines an assessment of the emergency situation and an evaluation of the personal budget to arrive at a decision to make an interest free loan, a grant, or a combination of both. Your Holloman AFAS office maintains an open door policy that encourages individuals to apply for assistance when they feel an emergency exists-but keeps the commander informed when a personal problem surfaces that might affect the performance of duty.

Emergency assistance is given when a member cannot otherwise pay for specific basic needs, lack of which would affect the member's Air Force job or the essential quality and dignity of life the Air Force wants for its people; the need is essential, not merely desirable; it is aimed at specific needs; and, is generally limited to relatively short term periods.

Examples of financial assistance covered:

Medical care - within TRICARE/CHAMPUS range of benefits.
Basic living expenses - food, utilities, and housing.
Dental care - for essential care.
Funeral expenses - Spouse and Dependent Children.
Essential vehicle repairs - essential transportation.
Emergency travel expenses - related to travel on personal emergencies.
Every need is evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

Every situation is unique and sensitivity demands an attempt to resolve problems. We can aid in many ways, but we do have some restrictions.

What AFAS cannot do:

Provide funds to pay for non-essentials.
Pay taxes.
Make contributions to other charitable or religious organizations.
Finance business ventures, purchase a home, auto, or similar permanent investment.
Finance vacations or normal annual leave.
Assist in maintaining a standard of living inconsistent with the pay and allowances of the Air Force member.

AFAS assistance is extended to all active duty Air Force, retired Air Force, Air Force Reserve and Air National Guard members serving on active duty, and their immediate families, and immediate family members of deceased Air Force personnel.

Community Enhancement and Special Programs

Bundles for Babies:

An AFRC program designed for new parents and sponsored by the AFAS. Program Highlights: PFMP program entitled "Babies Cost Bundles." Baby bundles that include blankets, crib sheets, hooded towels, wash mitts, print diapers, sleep and play outfits, and, a special stuffed animal with the AFAS logo. Also included are guests from other organizations with special information.

Baby's First Year, Time-Life Books:

Designed to bring Air Force active duty members and spouses who are expecting babies into the AFRC. These parents are given a free book entitled "Your Baby's First Year" published by Time-Life Custom Publishing, and at the same time have the opportunity to learn about programs offered by the AFRC, as well as AFAS programs such as "Bundles for Babies" and "Nursing Moms."

Child Care for PCS Program:

This program provides 20 hours of care per child for all ranks. The AFRC Relocation staff issues certificates that are good for childcare within 60 days of PCS. This childcare is authorized at both the departure and the new base, if the program is available. The childcare will be provided only in licensed Family Child Care Homes on base or those affiliated off-base.

Respite Care Program:

The intent of the program is to provide a "break" of a few hours a week or month to active duty Air Force families who have the responsibility of twenty-four-hour-a-day care for an ill or disabled family member. The stress of providing care, the burden of medical expenses, plus the high cost of hiring someone to provide care, make it difficult if not impossible to be able to afford even a few hours away.

The Respite Care Program offers "the gift of time"--time to do the ordinary things others take for granted -- going shopping, to a medical appointment, or perhaps time to spend with other family members. These everyday activities often prove very difficult for a special needs family. Respite care assistance is provided to the member in the form of a grant. As with all AFAS programs, assistance for respite care is based on need-the need for respite time, as well as financial need. Families with a special needs family member who have the financial means to pay for care should do so, as our program is intended to assist those who cannot afford it and would otherwise never get a "break."

Give Parents a Break:

The AFAS, recognizing that Air Force families are subject to unique stresses due to the nature of military life (deployments, remote tours of duty, extended working hours, etc.,) in cooperation with the Air Force child care community, has agreed to provide funding for child care under this program. The purpose of this program is to offer eligible parents a few hours break from the stresses of parenting. Parents may use this time to suit their personal needs.

Under the program, the AFAS will pay the cost of having the Holloman Child Development Center (CDC) open once a month for families referred to the program. Care is provided for children ages 6 weeks to 12 years of age. There may be a waiting list for infants under 6 months. Families using the center will not be charged for care. Currently the CDC is open the first Saturday of each month from 9 am to 3 pm. Active duty Air Force families eligible for the program include those parents feeling stress due to:

The military member being deployed or TDY.
Having a child with special needs.
An emergency situation, such as illness of a family member.
The family recently moving to the base.
Unique circumstances or hardships. 

To be eligible for this program, families must be referred by one of the following base officials:

Squadron commander/first sergeant
Doctor or other medical professional
Family Advocacy personnel
Family Support personnel
Child Development directors

A referral certificate must be issued, eligibility certified by an AFRC Specialist, and turned in to the CDC East (building 790) at least one week in advance of service. Families who are not already registered with the CDC for this program, must complete registration forms and provide immunization records prior to care being provided. Children with special needs requirements should be registered two weeks in advance to insure special care instructions are addressed. Contact the CDC at 572-7505 or 572-7551 for more information and to make reservations.
This program is not to be looked upon simply as free childcare, but rather as a program for commanders, first sergeants, and other base officials to use to provide help for families who need a break.

Parents interested in "Give Parents a Break" may contact any previously mentioned base officials or the AFRC at 572-7754.

Nursing Moms Program:

Air Force Aid Society provides an interest-free loan up to $200.00 for purchase or rental of a breast pump. All military families are eligible to apply for the loan.

Car Care Because We Care:

Under this program, a spouse whose sponsor will be deployed over 30 days or is on a remote tour (provided spouses are actively participating in the "Hearts Apart" program or participating in one of our "Coping with Family Separation" classes) has the opportunity to receive preventive maintenance (to include an oil/filter change and lubrication) on the family's primary vehicle in cooperation with the Holloman AFB Automotive Skills Development Center (ASDC).

A special voucher from the AFAS office and a scheduled appointment with the ASDC is all you need to obtain this "free" service.

Child Care for Volunteers Program:

Recognizing the importance of volunteers to the Air Force community, the AFAS provides funding for this program. AFAS funds are not meant to replace other funding available for this purpose, but rather to provide additional funds in order to increase the number of volunteers at Holloman. Under this program, the AFAS will provide up to $1000 per month to pay for child care expenses in licensed Family Day Care Homes for volunteers who are engaged in supporting programs which benefit our community. Contact the AFAS office or the AFRC Volunteer Coordinator for more information.

Youth Employment Skills (YES) Program:

The YES program is an on-base youth volunteer program funded by the AFAS and jointly administered by AFAS and the Youth Center. Holloman AFB, one of several test bases, offers high school aged dependents of active duty Air Force members an opportunity to learn valuable work skills while having a positive impact on the community. Program participation incentives are in the form of dollar credits for grant funding. The YES program allows all high school students to "bank" volunteer dollar credits toward their post-secondary education/training at a rate of $4 per hour volunteered in an on-base position. Students may accumulate as much as 250 hours, for a potential $1000 maximum, over all four years of high school combined. In addition, the Holloman Youth Program will "bank" base community credits at a rate of $2 for every hour volunteered per student, up to a maximum of $10,000 per program year. For eligibility requirements and more information on this program, please contact the AFAS office or the Youth Center Director at 572-3753.

Education Programs

The AFAS currently offers education assistance programs to assist dependents of active duty, retired and deceased Air Force members.

General Henry H. Arnold Education Grant Program:

Since its inception in 1942, the AFAS has been committed to helping Air Force members and their families realize their academic goals. In recent years, the Society's emphasis has been on direct funding of new initiatives that provide greater value to Air Force families.

The centerpiece of the Society's education initiatives, this grant program awards $1500 for their undergraduate studies to selected sons and daughters of active duty, retired, or deceased Air Force members, retired Reservists over age 60, and Title 10 Reservists on active duty (all other Reserve and ANG are not eligible). The value and success of this program, as demonstrated in over 40,000 grants disbursed since the first awards were made for the 1988-1989 academic year, led the Society to expand program parameters. Spouses of active duty members and Title 10 Reservists (spouses must reside and attend school within CONUS and be legally married to the member at time of application and disbursement of award) and surviving spouses of deceased members while on active duty or in retired status who meet all qualifying criteria, are eligible to compete for these $1500 grants.

All students must be accepted for enrollment as a full-time undergraduate student for the upcoming academic year in a college, university or vocational/trade school accredited by the Department of Education. All students must maintain a minimum 2.0 Grade Point Average. All students must demonstrate financial need (competing only against other Air Force families under a less restrictive needs test than Federal Programs).

For more information, please contact the AFAS office.