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Benefits of the Air Force Assistance Fund

SHAW AIR FORCE BASE, S.C. -- Money can be a factor in life that makes the difference between a stressful situation and an overwhelming one. For this reason, Airmen can have peace of mind in knowing they have resources in their time of need in the form of the Air Force Assistance Fund.

The AFAF is comprised of four different funds: AF Aid Society, AF Villages Charitable Foundation, AF Enlisted Village and, General and Mrs. Curtis E. Lemay Foundation and is funded completely by Airmen for Airmen.

The AFAF is able to give or lend money to Airmen and their families, officers, enlisted, retirees, and widows in emergency situations.

“The best thing about the Air Force Assistance Fund is you are donating funds to help out your fellow Airmen, the guys that are sitting right there with you,” said Master Sgt. Douglas Locke, 20th Component Maintenance Squadron assistant flight chief.

Locke said that the AFAF had helped him multiple times throughout his life.

“When I was a pipeline student in technical school and my transmission went out,” said Locke. “The AFAF was able to loan me the money to get my transmission fixed, creating less stress and grief so I was able to finish school. The second time was in 2014 when I was at NCO academy and my mother passed away. The funds gave me the ability to leave early and go take care of my mother’s affairs with my brother and then drive up to Colorado to gather her remains.”

Locke said the AFAF was very lenient and considerate when it came to paying back anything loaned to him.

“My grandparents raised me from a very young age and my grandfather was like my father,” said Staff Sgt. Elizabeth Tapley, 20th Component Maintenance Squadron aerospace propulsion craftsman. “My grandfather had a heart attack and died in 2010 and the AFAF was able to give me a grant of about $500 to fly home for his funeral.”

Tapley said the grant took a lot of stress off her, as she was already preparing for her first deployment at the time.

Both Locke and Tapley agreed that the fund can help Airmen when they need clamming, it really is “for Airmen by Airmen."

Team Shaw has a goal of raising $95,153 towards the overall Air Force goal of $4.677 million dollars by the end of the year 2017.

Fundraising campaigns are scheduled to be held from April 10 to May 22. Airmen can also contribute via payroll deductions, which would begin June 1 and can be paid for up to 12 months, or by donating through www.afassistancefund.org.

Individuals who need assistance should contact their first sergeants, who will help coordinate any funding requests through the Airmen and Family Readiness Center.