Air Force Assistance Fund Drive, giving to a worthy cause

AVIANO AIR BASE, Italy -- Calling all Aviano Airmen, families, civilians and private organizations. As the Aviano Air Force Aid Society officer, I urge you to donate to the Air Force Assistance Fund Drive kicking off March 8 through April 16. The Airman and Family Readiness Center will use your donations to aid Airmen and/or family members who will need the money to fly back home for a family emergency, be at a grandparents bedside or worse attend a funeral.

In 2009, Aviano Air Base raised more than $95,464 during the Air Force Assistance Fund Drive. Our return on investment--Aviano Airmen and families received $248,000 in the form of emergency assistance via loans and grants, community enhancement programs, and spouse tuition assistance. We received $152,536 more than the base gave!

Thanks to your donations last year, Airmen and families were able to make emergency trips home to attend funerals, be at a loved one's bedside, pay for funeral expenses, cover unexpected financial obligations, and make major car repairs. Air Force Aid Society also ensured our spouses could further their education and attain a college degree by providing up to $1,500 per year through Spouse Tuition Assistance. In addition, we were able to provide the following Community Enhancement programs: Give Parents a Break, Car Care Because We Care, Child Care For PCS and Child Care For Volunteers.

Capt Shelley Morris is the 31st Fighter Wing installation project officer and Senior Master Sgt. Robbin Rooney, is the assistant project officer for the AFAF Drive. Their team of volunteers will be collecting donations for the: Air Force Aid Society, Air Force Enlisted Village Indigent Widow's Fund, Air Force Village Indigent Widow's Fund, and the General and Mrs. Curtis E. LeMay Foundation.

These organizations help Air Force personnel with aid during emergency situations, educational needs, or with a secure retirement home for widows or widowers of Air Force members.

The Air Force Aid Society is the official charity of the Air Force. It is chartered to assist in relieving financial emergencies faced by active duty members and their families worldwide. It also assists Reserve and Guard personnel who are on extended active duty and face unique emergencies. For more information, visit www.afas.org.

The Air Force Enlisted Village Indigent Widow's Fund near Eglin Air Force Base, Florida, provides rent subsidy and other support to indigent widows and widowers of retired enlisted folks age 55 and older.For more information, visit www.afenlistedwidows.org.

The Air Force Village Indigent Widow's Fund in San Antonio, provides a life care community and a home for retired officers, spouses, widows or widowers and family members.For more information, visit www.airforcevillages.com.

The General and Mrs. Curtis E. LeMay Foundation enables surviving spouses to continue living in their own homes and communities and not struggle to meet daily needs. They help with monthly supplemental grants to assist with food, rent, utilities and healthcare. For more information, visit www.lemayfoundation.org.

Your generous donations will aid Air Force Active Duty and family members worldwide and will be greatly appreciated. Additional questions about the AFAS can be directed to the A&FRC at 632-5407. Thank you for your support.