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Annual AFAF drive begins this month

The 2016 Air Force Assistance Fund Campaign will take place here March 21 through April 29. The goal for this year's Hanscom campaign is $39,552.

The 2019 Air Force Assistance Fund charitable drive will take place here March 25 through May 3. The goal for this year's fundraising effort at Hanscom is $33,500.

HANSCOM AIR FORCE BASE, Mass. – The 2019 Air Force Assistance Fund charitable drive will take place here March 25 through May 3. The goal for this year's fundraising effort at Hanscom is $33,500.

The Air Force Assistance Fund is an Air Force-wide annual fundraising effort to assist past and present Airmen and their families with unexpected challenges and financial hardships through four charities: The Air Force Aid Society, General and Mrs. Curtis E. LeMay Foundation, Air Force Village Charitable Foundation and the Air Force Enlisted Village.

“The four Air Force Assistance Fund charities help Air Force active duty, retirees, Reserve and Air National Guard members in a variety of ways,” said Master Sgt. Ronald Young, this year’s project officer at Hanscom.

The Air Force Assistance Fund website, www.afassistancefund.org, features information about all of the affiliate charities, assistance stories and frequently asked questions.

According to Young, the easiest and preferred way to donate is via the Air Force Form 2561 submitted to a unit keyworker.

AFAF keyworkers can only solicit on-the-job donations from active duty members and military retirees. However, civilians may also make one-time cash or check donations during the drive.

As is the case during the Combined Federal Campaign, fundraising activities on the installation are limited throughout the AFAF donation period. This can affect private organizations or others that may be planning fundraising events or hosting unofficial activities. For further information about proposed fundraisers, contact Janet Lo, 66th Force Support Squadron installation private organization liaison, at 781-225-1420.

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.

AFAS donations help fund several programs run through Hanscom's A&FRC such as respite care, Give Parents a Break, child care for volunteers, child care for permanent change of station, Car Care Because We Care and Bundles for Babies.

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 military spouses "spend much of their lives coping with the difficulties of military life and supporting their spouses through years of active duty. 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 Charitable Foundation

The Air Force Village in San Antonio, known today as Blue Skies of Texas, has been providing a core charitable mission to care for retired Air Force officers' widowed spouses in need of financial help for nearly 50 years.

According to AFVCF officials, through this charity, Air Force widowed spouses have access to a dignified, comfortable and affordable retirement community.

Two retirement communities offer independent living, skilled nursing, wellness clinics, home health care services, assisted living facilities and access to health care centers.

Air Force Enlisted Village

The Air Force Enlisted Village began 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. John D. Ryan and his wife, Jo Carolyn.

The foundation's mission is providing financial assistance and housing to surviving spouses of Air Force enlisted members left without the opportunity for careers, home equities, retirement plans or any significant assets, according to the foundation's website at www.afenlistedwidows.org

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.

For additional information on making a donation, contact Young at 781-225-6288.