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NEWS | Feb. 4, 2013

Air Force Assistance Fund focuses on families

By Airman 1st Class Victoria Taylor 633rd Air Base Wing Public Affairs

Opening with a 5k run Feb. 22, Langley Air Force Base will formally kick off its Air Force Assistance Fund campaign, set to run from Feb. 4 to March 16.

The Air Force Assistance Fund raises money on active duty military installations for charitable partners that endow support to Air Force families in need.

"The AFAF is a big fundraiser that's proceeds are distributed between four different charities that provide for Airmen and their families," said 2nd Lt. Francisco Guzman, installation project officer for the AFAF.

The first of these charities, the Air Force Villages program, was founded by the Air Force Officers' Wives' Clubs in 1964. The program offers a comfortable and affordable retirement community for widowed spouses of retired Air Force officers.

"The AF Villages program not only provides a home and financial help, but is also big in health care- which is a common trend in all four affiliations," said Guzman.

The Air Force Aid Society, created in 1942, is an official charity providing emergency assistance, educational aid and community programs to Airmen and families. The AFAS works hand-in-hand with the Airman and Family Readiness Center, and is one of the most well-known programs to Airmen because of the substantial benefits it provides.

The General and Mrs. Curtis E. LeMay Foundation is another affiliate of the AFAF. This program helps both officers and enlisted widows and widowers through financial grants.

"The foundation is selective in terms of who gets assistance, but they care mostly about what situation the widows and widowers are in, and not why or how they got to the point of needing the help they are asking for," Guzman said.

Lastly, The Air Force Enlisted Village is a program founded in 1967 to provide a safe, secure and dignified place for financially-challenged surviving spouses of retired Air Force personnel , enlisted and officers.

These programs rely on volunteers, which come from all corners of the Air Force.

"We are asking for volunteers to help for all of our events throughout the promotion time," Guzman said. "This is where we can get people who might have been in the same situation and have been helped to reach out and have a chance to give back."