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Airmen helping Airmen: 2019 AFAF Campaign kicks off

U.S. Air Force Col. Jason Bailey, 52nd Fighter Wing commander, center, Col. Tad Clark, 52nd FW vice commander, left, and Chief Master Sgt. Alvin Dyer, 52nd FW command chief, right, donate to the Air Force Assistance Fund at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, March 13, 2019. The AFAF includes four charities that provide support to Airmen and retiree's widowed spouses in need. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Valerie Seelye)

U.S. Air Force Col. Jason Bailey, 52nd Fighter Wing commander, center, Col. Tad Clark, 52nd FW vice commander, left, and Chief Master Sgt. Alvin Dyer, 52nd FW command chief, right, donate to the Air Force Assistance Fund at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, March 13, 2019. The AFAF includes four charities that provide support to Airmen and retiree's widowed spouses in need. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Valerie Seelye)

SPANGDAHLEM AIR BASE, Germany --

The 2019 Air Force Assistance Fund Campaign is scheduled to start March 18, 2019, to raise funds for charities that provide support to Airmen in need.

To kick off the event, U.S. Air Force Col. Jason Bailey, 52nd Fighter Wing commander, Col. Tad Clark, 52nd FW vice commander, and Chief Master Sgt. Alvin Dyer, 52nd FW command chief, donated to the AFAF campaign March 13, 2019, here.

“Somebody at some point is going to need that hand, and what better way than to have an organization setup to do that,” said Master Sgt. Benjamin Hill, 52nd FW Safety Office superintendent.

Megan Satake, 52nd Force Support Squadron community readiness consultant, agreed.

“Everybody needs help sometimes,” Satake said. “We all run into financial hardships — that’s the whole reason these programs are in place.”

The campaign will run through April 26, 2019. The annual effort includes four charitable organizations that provide support for emergency situations, education needs, and retirement home financial assistance:

-          The Air Force Aid Society’s mission is to provide emergency financial relief, help Airmen’s families achieve their education goals, and improve quality of life through proactive community programs.

-          The Air Force Enlisted Village provides homes to widowed spouses of retired enlisted Air Force members.

-          The Air Force Villages Charitable Foundation provides homes to widowed spouses of retired Air Force officers.

-          The LeMay Foundation awards grants to enlisted and officer retiree’s widowed spouses to augment incomes that fall below the poverty line or ease unexpected bills.

People can donate to a specific organization, or give a general donation which will be split between the organizations, Hill said.

There are three ways to donate. Cash and check payments can be turned in to key workers with Air Force form 2561. The form can be printed out or emailed as a PDF. The second option is payroll deduction, which can be taken care of through finance. E-giving, the last option, can be done online. Hill said the first two methods are preferred because e-giving funds go directly to the specific organizations and will not count for Spangdahlem’s AFAF campaign totals.

“The base will tally up all of our totals of what we are providing to these charities,” Hill said. “It’s a competition. We all love to compete, so we definitely want to come out on top.”

Although competing can be fun, the goal of the AFAF campaign has a greater meaning.

The “Airmen helping Airmen” concept is ingrained since day one, Hill said. We cannot get anywhere without each other. The AFAF Campaign is another opportunity for Saber Nation to shine.

For more information or to donate, contact Hill at 452-6306 or Capt. Ryan Neill, 52nd Maintenance Group chaplain at 452-2922.