Ellsworth kicks off fundraiser with dodgeball tournament
By Airman 1st Class Sadie Colbert, 28th Bomb Wing Public Affairs
/ Published March 08, 2016
ELLSWORTH AIR FORCE BASE, S.D. --
A dodgeball tournament was held to kick off a fundraiser for the Air Force Assistance Fund Feb. 29, 2016.
From Feb. 29 to April 7, the 28th Bomb Wing's goal is to reach approximately $60,000 in donations to the AFAF charity and its four affiliates to lend support to fellow Airmen and their families. Anyone can help with onetime cash payments or a payroll deduction of as little as one dollar a month.
"If you donate five dollars every pay period that can add up to a lot," said Tech. Sgt. Jacqueline Chant, 28th BW protocol NCO in charge. "That's cheaper than a cup of coffee every day."
The programs offered by AFAF are the Air Force Enlisted Village, LeMay Foundation, Air Force Charitable Foundation and the Air Force Aid Society.
Chant said the AFAS program, which gives emergency assistance and proactive community programs to active-duty, retirees, enlisted, officers and their families, proved to be life-changing earlier in her career.
Chant was in a pinch while stationed in Andersen Air Force Base, Guam. She was notified that her mother was diagnosed with a terminal illness and found it difficult to come up with enough money for a plane ticket home.
She eventually notified her first sergeant of her situation and through AFAS they were able to get her a free flight to her mother in Texas within 24 hours.
Chant said it was such a huge blessing because seeing her mom allowed her to coordinate and put her mother as a dependent so she could be transferred to a facility for chemotherapy. It resulted in her mother being able to live another five years and see her grandchild later on.
The most important thing to remember about these charities is that whatever Airmen donate goes right back to their fellow wingmen while going through difficult times.
The programs are not just geared toward active-duty personnel. The AFEV program provides a temporary home to surviving spouses of enlisted members who pass away while active-duty or to retirees and their spouses who need financial assistance.
The LeMay Foundation program is similar to AFEV, but they offer monthly support for spouses to cover day-to-day living expenses and one-time assistance to help with unexpected bills.
Finally, the AFVCF is a program where spouses of fallen officers can be cared for in a retirement community and are also offered financial assistance.
From widows and retirees to active-duty personnel, AFAF program offers many programs to care for servicemembers, and the program stresses that if someone knows anyone in need, please contact the appropriate AFAF affiliate.
For more information, call (800) 258-1413 for AFEV, (800) 554-5510 for LeMay Foundation, (800) 655-3083 for AFVCF, and (703) 972-2650 for AFAS.
In addition, any members interested in donating should contact their unit AFAF representative.