2021 Air Force Assistance Fund campaign begins

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The annual Air Force Assistance Fund (AFAF) campaign will officially kick off March 1 and run through April 9.

The AFAF raises money for four charities that take care of Airmen, Guardians and their families. The Air Force Enlisted Village, the General and Mrs. Curtis E. LeMay Foundation, the Air Force Villages Charitable Foundation and the Air Force Aid Society.

This year’s theme is “For Airmen and Guardians, by Airmen and Guardians.

“This is the only official Department of the Air Force campaign that is ‘for us, by us’. While there are thousands of worthy charities you could give to, we encourage you to participate in the AFAF,” said Capt. Lindamira Nkwenti, Dover Air Force Base AFAF installation project officer. “Airmen and Guardians across Dover AFB, and their families, will continue to benefit from the charities supported by the AFAF when you chose to give.”

The AFAF supports active duty, eligible Air National Guard and Reserve Airmen, as well as retirees, spouses, immediate family members and surviving family members of deceased retirees.

Airmen and Guardians may make donations by visiting http://www.afassistancefund.org and clicking the donate button. Members may contribute via e-check, debit or credit card or with a paper check, using the donation form available on the site, which can be filled out, printed and mailed in along with the check. If the donor is a retiree, a payroll deduction plan is also available.

Nkwenti said key workers in every squadron will contact members eligible to give, but if you have not been contacted, reach out to your Airman and Family Readiness Center’s Air Force Aid Society officer. They will also be able to get you in touch with installation project officers if you haven’t been contacted.

She added because the AFAF is a “for us, by us” campaign, key workers and unit project officers are limited to soliciting donations from uniformed Department of the Air Force and retired members; however, civilians and contractors who would like to donate may do so by cash or check where accepted, or using the e-giving platform.

Last year’s campaign raised $2.13 million across the Air Force even as pandemic shutdowns were just starting the week after the campaign began. This year’s goal, Nkwenti said, is to raise $40,221 at Dover AFB.

“It’s difficult for our campaign workers to go desk-to-desk with so many members teleworking, and it’s just not safe to do so in this COVID environment,” she added. “As part of the campaign kickoff procedures, we coordinated with the 436th Medical Group Public Health department for COVID-19 safety training for key workers and unit project officers. We are doing what we can this year by using e-giving platforms and peer-to-peer fundraising so our campaign workers have more tools at their disposal, and our contributors have more avenues to donate.”

The Air Force Aid Society helps active duty Airmen and Guardians in times of emergencies by providing loans and grants, and also supports base enhancement programs.

The Air Force Enlisted Village, for enlisted widows and widowers, and the Air Force Villages Charitable Foundation, for officer widows and widowers, provide a secure and friendly place to live among friends with a similar background.

The LeMay Foundation supports widows and widowers of Air Force retirees, both officer and enlisted, in the event of a financial need by giving grants of assistance.

Nkwenti said the team of charities is committed to helping Airmen, Guardians and their families, but can only do so with support to the campaigns.

“These charities are able to continue providing assistance because our predecessors gave to the AFAF campaign for the past 47 years,” she said. “Now it’s our turn to pay it forward. Today we may be donating, but tomorrow we may be the ones calling for assistance.”

Specific AFAF campaign dates for each installation may vary. Contact an AFAF representative for installation-specific information. To watch informational videos about AFAF, visit the AFAF YouTube page at https://www.youtube.com/AFAssistancefund