JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-RANDOLPH, Texas –
The 2013 Air Force Assistance Fund campaign, which raises money to support active duty, retirees, Reserve, National Guard and their dependents in financial distress, will take place March 25-May 3 at Joint Base San Antonio.
The campaign will kick-off at JBSA-Lackland with a breakfast 8 a.m. March 21 at Lackland's Gateway Club. Retired Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force Robert Gaylor will speak at JBSA-Randolph's kick-off 8 a.m. March 22 at Randolph's Parr Club.
The AFAF campaign, made up of Air Force Villages Inc., Air Force Aid Society Inc., Air Force Enlisted Village Inc. and the General and Mrs. Curtis E. LeMay Foundation, help eligible recipients with emergencies, educational support or securing retirement homes for widows or widowers of Air Force members in need of financial assistance.
"This campaign is about Airmen helping Airmen," Capt. Celeste Lukshis, JBSA AFAF project officer, said. "Each unit (at every JBSA location) is encouraged to do fundraising however they choose."
Unit project officers will be chosen to supervise fundraising for every unit, which then may assign key workers to help collect donations.
Only active-duty members and retirees will be asked to donate according to Air Force regulations, but the goal is to spread the word to "100 percent" of those who can contribute, Lukshis said.
The goal is also to meet or surpass last year's donations of $347,039 for Lackland; $157,730 for Randolph; and $4,579 for JBSA-Fort Sam Houston.
"San Antonio is 'Military City, USA,'" 1st Lt. Ryan Nichols, Lackland AFAF project officer, said. "We have one of the largest military presences in one city, and this campaign focuses on taking care of our own."
Nichols learned firsthand what the AFAF means to thousands of people as a young airman first class.
"It was the morning of Nov. 25, 2000, when I received one of the worst phone calls," he said. "My first sergeant on the other end told me my father had passed away. So many thoughts went through my mind and then the realization that I couldn't afford to go home to be with my family hit me.
"My first sergeant helped me fill out a form to get the funds needed to fly home. The AFAF is for situations just like this."
To access contribution forms and general information about AFAF and its affiliates, visithttp://www.afassistancefund.org/.