Generosity is always attractive

  • Published
  • By Master Sgt. Matthew D. Frickey
  • Advanced Weapons Director School
I had been a supporter of the Air Force Assistance Fund for 19 years prior to 2005 when I decided to step up and volunteer to be our squadron point of contact for the AFAF drive. About a week later I received an e-mail from the 388th Fighter Wing executive officer congratulating me on being selected as the AFAF POC for the entire wing.

I didn't know a lot about AFAF at that time accept that one of the four charitable affiliates of AFAF, the Air Force Aide Society, had helped several of my Airmen at Tyndall when they really needed financial assistance. I learned a lot more.

One of my tasks as the wing POC was to go through some of the old information from the previous campaigns. I came across an interesting fact: In 2004, 100 percent of the donations from Hill AFB came from only 29 percent of the Airmen on the base.

We've all probably heard the phrase "20 percent of the people do 80 percent of the work," but I never really saw that as being true. But these numbers were fact, and a hard one for me to believe. I always took for granted that most everyone would give that $2 or $4 a month - I was wrong. Then I started doing some math on exactly what it would take for the wing to achieve our goal if 100 percent of Airmen contributed, and the final tally was shocking. If each person gave only $2.50 a month for 12 months we would not only make our goal but exceed it.

One little known fact everyone sees but not everyone notices is on the inside of the AFAF contribution form (AF from 2561) where there's a chart showing the recommended contribution per your annual base pay. I'm sure when people look at this they really don't realize that AFAF is asking for only one-tenth of one percent of your income as an annual donation - that's a dime for every $100.

Unfortunately, I'm sure there are people at Nellis who can't afford that, and I would never ask anyone to give if they couldn't. On the other hand I'm sure the majority, not the minority, of Nellis Airmen (E-1 through O-8) can afford to help their fellow Airmen by giving one tenth of one percent of their annual base pay. Like a lot of things in life the question isn't "can you help" but "will you help?"

Last year AFAS assisted 33,000 Airmen with a variety of issues, and, like at Hill AFB, the minority, not the majority, of the Air Force made that possible. This year when your AFAF representative hands you that blue and white form, please take the time to look inside the cover and ask yourself, "Can I help?" If the answer is "yes," the next question is, "Will I help?" When you do this remember who you're helping, it won't be someone you'll never know or someone half way around the world, but rather the Airman sitting right next to you.