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Raising funds for Airmen

BARKSDALE AIR FORCE BASE, La. -- The Air Force Assistance Fund held their donation campaign this past April here on Barksdale, where over $46 thousand was raised across the base in an ongoing effort to provide assistance to struggling Airmen.

“Air Force Assistance Funds a campaign that directly gives back to the men and women that have served before us, and now beside us,” said Senior Master Sgt. Lindsey Sharpe, 2nd Force Support Squadron superintendent and AFAF lead coordinator. “The continuing goal of caring for Airmen and their families continues to be the forefront of each charity and each campaign year after year.”

There are four organizations that fall under AFAF including the:

  • Air Force Aid Society which gives Airmen emergency financial assistance

  • Air Force Enlisted Village which provides housing for surviving spouses of retired enlisted Airmen

  • LeMay Foundation which provides grants for surviving enlisted and officer spouses

  • Air Force Villages Charitable Foundation which provides housing for surviving spouses of retired Air Force officers.

This year, Barksdale reached the overall goal for AFAF, exceeding years prior.

“Every single dollar counts,” Sharpe said. “The 2018 campaign did not disappoint and many families will be better off from the hard work of each keyworker assigned to the campaign this year.”

One Barksdale Airman recalls how he received a grant to attend his grandmother’s funeral.”

“I was an Airman living in Alaska, about to go on my first deployment,” said Tech. Sgt. William Stewart, 2nd Bomb Wing equal opportunity technician. “I was three weeks out when I got the call that my grandma had passed. Unfortunately, I spent most of my money in preparation for some tour of duties coming up and the deployment so I didn’t have enough money to fly home. The plane ticket alone was around $3,000 round trip for my wife and me. The Air Force Aid Society gave me the grant I needed so I could go home and be with my family.”

Since receiving aid from AFAF, Stewart brings awareness to the organization and helps raise money to further their outreach.

“I have always contributed to the AFAF because it helped me as an Airman,” Stewart said. “This year they were looking for a point of contact for the wing staff agency, so I volunteered, got trained and helped raise money during the campaign.”

For more information on eligibility, Airman can contact the Airman and Family Readiness Center at 456-8400.