AFAF kicks off March 25|
Posted 3/20/2013 Updated 3/20/2013
by Tech. Sgt. Jennifer Foster
66th Air Base Group Public Affairs
3/20/2013 - HANSCOM AIR FORCE BASE, Mass. -- The Air Force Assistance Fund, which helps provide for the well-being of active duty and retired Airmen and their families, gets underway at Hanscom on March 25 and runs through May 3. The fundraiser helps to combat unexpected challenges and improve the quality of life for many who face hardships.
The theme for the 2013 AFAF campaign is "Commitment to Caring" and the base's monetary goal is $41,189.
"It's easy for us to focus on our own troubles and concerns and not see that some of our fellow Airmen may need support," said Capt. Carmen Sowers, Hanscom AFAF installation project officer. "Contributing to the Air Force Assistance Fund is a way we can support our Air Force family, and we can be Airmen helping Airmen."
The AFAF benefits four charities: the Air Force Aid Society, the General and Mrs. Curtis E. LeMay Foundation, the Air Force Village Foundation and the Air Force Enlisted Village. The four charities help Air Force personnel in a variety of ways, to include aiding in emergencies, providing educational needs and helping to secure a retirement home for widows or widowers of Air Force members in need of financial assistance.
Air Force Aid Society
The Air Force Aid Society was founded as a relief organization in 1942 by Army Air Force personnel, including General Henry H. "Hap" Arnold, who wanted to take care of their own, and has been helping Airmen through difficult times ever since.
The organization provided $57,665 in aid to members of the Hanscom community in 2012. Air Force-wide, the society helped more than 40,000 Airmen and their families with more than $17.8 million in assistance in 2012, according to an Air Force Aid Society fact sheet.
Locally, the AFAS helps to fund many programs run through the Airman and Family Readiness Center. These programs include: respite care, Give Parents a Break, child care for volunteers, child care for PCS, Car Care Because We Care and Bundles for Babies.
The AFAS also grants interest-free loans to those who experience unexpected emergencies and offers grants and scholarships to active duty personnel and their dependents.
General and Mrs. Curtis E. LeMay Foundation
General Curtis E. LeMay and his wife, Helen, began their foundation, which provides for the needs of military widows across the nation, in 1987.
The General and Mrs. Curtis E. LeMay Foundation provides financial aid to widowed spouses of Air Force personnel of all ranks, who are in need of assistance, states the organization's website www.lemay-foundation.org. The foundation uses grants to provide assistance for rent, utilities, food, some health care and other needs that may strain a widow's budget.
The foundation understands that these women "spend much of their lives coping with the difficulties of military life and supporting their spouses through years of active duty," states the foundation's website. "Military spouses are entitled to a decent standard of living, entitled to live with dignity, and entitled to be proud of their service."
Air Force Village Foundation
In 1964, the Air Force Officers' Wives' Club and Air Force leaders formed the Air Force Village Foundation to help with the housing and financial necessities of retired Air Force officers' widows in need.
The AFVF, which opened in 1970 in San Antonio, Texas, has become the helping hand to many widows who are left without any means of financial support or stability. Today, according to the foundation's website, www.airforcevillages.com, the two Air Force villages include retirement communities with independent apartments, wellness clinics, home health care services, assisted living facilities and access to health care centers.
Another AFVF facility is the Freedom House, a facility specifically designed to care for people suffering from Alzheimer's disease or other forms of dementia.
Air Force Enlisted Village
The Air Force Enlisted Village was founded in 1967 by a group of active duty and retired Air Force noncommissioned officers, with the assistance of former Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. and Mrs. John D. Ryan. The foundation's mission is providing financial assistance and housing to surviving spouses of Air Force enlisted members who are left without the opportunity for careers, home equities, retirement plans or any significant assets, according to the foundation's website at www.afenlistedwidows.org.
"Temporary housing is also available to spouses of enlisted members who die or who are killed on active duty. Adult dependents -- typically parents of active-duty members or their spouses -- are eligible for permanent housing on a space-available basis," the website states.
The Air Force Enlisted Village consists of two separate living facilities, Teresa Village and Bob Hope Village, located in Fort Walton Beach, Fla., and Shalimar, Fla., respectively. The villages include apartments, community centers, chapels, outdoor gardens and other amenities. The Bob Hope Village includes the Hawthorn House, a 64-apartment assisted living facility.
Those who wish to contribute to AFAF should contact their unit point of contact, or visit the AFAF website,www.afassistancefund.org, and complete the contribution form.
Hanscom AFAF installation project officers
Capt. Carmen Sowers: 781-225-4239
Lt. David Lam: 781-225-0144