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Air Force Assistance Fund kicks-off

Air Force Assistance Fund volunteers and base leadership pause for a photo at the AFAF kick-off event at the Holloman Airman and Family and Readiness Center Mar. 2, 2020. The AFAF is a charitable donation campaign comprised of four charities that provide funds to active-duty service members, retirees, reservists, guard, dependents and surviving spouses in need. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Collette Brooks)

Air Force Assistance Fund volunteers and base leadership pause for a photo at the AFAF kick-off event at the Holloman Airman and Family and Readiness Center Mar. 2, 2020. The AFAF is a charitable donation campaign comprised of four charities that provide funds to active-duty service members, retirees, reservists, guard, dependents and surviving spouses in need. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Collette Brooks)

HOLLOMAN AIR FORCE BASE, N.M. --

The Air Force Assistance Fund kicked-off March 2, 2020, here.

The AFAF is a charitable donation campaign comprised of four charities that provide funds to active-duty service members, retirees, reservists, guard, dependents and surviving spouses in need.

The Lemay Foundation, Air Force Village Charitable Foundation, Air Force Enlisted Village and the Air Force Aid Society all support AFAF recipients in various aspects ranging from financial aid to housing assistance.

Not only does the AFAF work with a variety of helping agencies, but it can also feel like a full-circle moment if utilized.

“Think of the AFAF as a security blanket or even an insurance policy,” said Master Sgt. Jeffery Ashton, 54th Operations Support Squadron Aircrew Flight Equipment quality assurance noncommissioned officer in charge. “You may never need to use any of these organizations for assistance, but if you did it would be comforting to know that your past or current contributions were directly affecting the help you receive.”

Ashton said all donations amounts are graciously welcomed.

“The minimum you can donate is $1 for 3 months and the max is whatever dollar amount you feel comfortable donating for 12 months,” he explained. “One-time contributions of an allotted amount are also accepted.”

Elizabeth Upton, the 49th Wing chief of protocol, said as an E-2 in the Navy she received financial assistance during a challenging time in her life.

“Without these types of support programs people could be stranded with no money, car broken down, kids crying while wondering who they can turn to or rely on,” she said. “We have to have these types of relief programs and we must take care of each other.”

While the donations given might vary, one aspect that won’t change is the importance of each contribution.

According to www.afassistancefund.org when natural disasters occur like Hurricane Michael in 2018 for example, the AFAF charities were there to lend a helping hand to Airmen and their families. The AFAF charities responded quickly and expanded their services to provide emergency financial grants, collect food and supplies along with monetary donations.

“The AFAF is ‘For Us, By Us,’” said Ashton. “All donations received will come back to the Air Force community in one way, shape or form.”

The AFAF campaign runs from March 2 – April 10 this year. For more information on each organization or how to donate please contact your squadron’s key worker, visit www.afassistancefund.org or text AFAF to 50155.