Yokota kicks off Air Force Assistance Fund campaign

Col. Andrew J. Campbell, 374th Airlift Wing commander, poses for a photo while donating to the Air Force Assistance Fund, March 3, 2021, at Yokota Air Base, Japan. The AFAF supports active-duty, eligible Air National Guard and Reserve Airmen, as well as retirees, spouses, immediate family members and surviving family members of retirees who have passed away. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Juan Torres)
Col. Andrew J. Campbell, 374th Airlift Wing commander, poses for a photo while donating to the Air Force Assistance Fund, March 3, 2021, at Yokota Air Base, Japan. The AFAF supports active-duty, eligible Air National Guard and Reserve Airmen, as well as retirees, spouses, immediate family members and surviving family members of retirees who have passed away. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Juan Torres)

Yokota kicks off Air Force Assistance Fund campaign

by Staff Sgt. Kyle Johnson
374th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan -- The Air Force Assistance Fund kicked off March 1, 2021.

The AFAF is a charitable donation campaign which provides funds to active-duty service members, retirees, reservists, guard, dependents and surviving spouses in need.

There are four charities that fall under the campaign:

  • The Air Force Enlisted Village provides homes for survivors of Air Force members who have passed away.
  • The Lemay Foundation provides financial support to widows and widowers of Air Force retirees. They also provide grants to enlisted personnel and officer’s surviving spouses to help with rent, food etc.
  • The Air Force Villages Charitable Foundation offers support for widowed spouses of retired Air Force officers.
  • The Air Force Aid Society has been meeting the needs of Airmen and their families since 1942. They provide $15 million in support to Airmen each year, to include scholarships, education grants, on base programs and hardship grants.

In 2020, the Air Force Aid Society provided $20 million to Air Force and Space Force families impacted by COVID-19.

“I implore all of our Airmen at Yokota to get involved in this program,” said Master Sgt. Jeremy Turner, 374th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron section chief. “We are taking care of each other.”

Not only does the AFAF work with a variety of helping agencies, but it can also feel like a full-circle moment if utilized. Many who have donated have experienced the benefits of the fund first-hand.

“You can choose to make a monthly allotment from your payroll deduction, or you can do a one-time donation,” said Master Sgt. Sarai Gapetz, 374th Dental Squadron dental support flight chief. “For the one-time donation, you can scan the QR code and insert your card information, and the pay allotment will be completed from myPay.”

Gapetz said all donation amounts are graciously welcomed.

While the donations given might vary, one aspect that won’t change is the importance of each contribution.

“It’s nice to know that this is available,” Gapetz said. “You’ll never know when you or your Airmen could use it.”

The AFAF campaign runs from March 1 to April 9 this year. For more information on each organization or how to donate please contact your squadron’s representative, visit www.afassistancefund.org or text 50155 from a stateside phone.

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