Colorado Springs Military Newspaper Group

Peterson Space Observer

2009 AFAF Campaign: tightening our belts to help those in need

Commentary by Capt. Chris Baker

Air Force Assistance Fund Peterson AFB Installation Project officer

It’s that time of year again! We have just entered week four of the Air Force Assistance Fund Campaign. During the remaining three weeks we can do our part to help our fellow Airmen and their families in this time of economic struggle.

How can you help out? The Air Force Assistance Fund is an annual six week campaign conducted at each base to donate money towards four charities to benefit Airmen and their families in times of need. The charities are the Air Force Aid Society, the General and Mrs. Curtis E. Lemay Foundation, the Air Force Indigent Widows Fund, and the Air Force Enlisted Village Indigent Widows Fund.

This year’s goal for Peterson AFB is to raise $80,667. Essentially, if each person donates a minimum of $2 a month for 12 months we will surpass our goal and raise more than $85,000. I can say with a straight face that I will not miss $2 a month and I know there are many others who can say the same. That is basically one less coffee each month. If everyone donated $5 a month we would raise more than $240,000! Five dollars a month is one fewer extra-value menu lunch a month. If we all pledged to bring in a sack lunch instead of buying lunch one day a month we would meet our goal.

Obviously, not everyone can afford $2 or $5 a month, which is one of the reasons we have the campaign. Traditionally, the largest contributions go toward the Air Force Aid Society primarily because they assist Airmen by providing no-interest loans and grants that really make a difference when times are hard. The loans are used for a variety of things: funeral expenses, basic living expenses, dental, vehicle repair, emergency travel and relocation.

The Air Force Indigent Widows Fund and the Air Force Enlisted Village Indigent Widows Fund both support the widows of our fallen brothers and sisters in arms. The Air Force Enlisted Village Indigent Widows Fund provides more than 1,600 widows with a home and assistance, while the Air Force Indigent Widows Fund is primarily for widows of retired officers. Many of the people benefiting from these organizations are the widows of those who began the Air Force. This is a chance to do our part to support our proud Air Force heritage, our tradition of honor, and our legacy of valor.

The process to donate is extremely simple: find your squadron’s project officer and tell him or her that

you would like to donate. From there it takes only a few minutes to fill out the form, decide how much money you’d like to give and to which charity you’d like to donate to. If you choose to donate via the Payment Deduction Plan, you can donate a small amount of money each month for three-to-twelve months. Another way to donate is with a cash or check donation where you could give a one-time lump sum to any charity of your choice.

If you have any additional questions regarding this year’s AFAF, please locate your respected unit project officer.

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