AFAF donations help Airmen, families

CANNON AIR FORCE BASE, N.M. -- Cannon Airmen are slightly ahead of target as they head for the second-half homestretch of this year's Air Force Assistance Fund (AFAF) campaign. Team Cannon has donated $23,969 so far, 53.2 percent of its goal of $43,031.

The AFAF drive raises funds for charitable affiliates that provide support to Air Force Airmen and families in need.

One Airman who received this support is Senior Airman Carolina Del Pardo of the 27th Communications Squadron.

On Feb. 13, Airman Del Pardo learned that her grandmother had passed away.
"The [first sergeant] said I could fly out, but wanted to know if I could afford it. I told him I had an emergency credit card I could use for the plane ticket," said Airman Del Pardo.
The first sergeant suggested speaking with the Air Force Aid Society (AFAS) about an interest-free loan.

"The lady there asked how much I could afford to pay back each month," said Airman Del Pardo. "I walked out with a check and paid my credit card off that week."

Without the help of the AFAS, it would have taken months to pay off the credit card interest.

Another Airman touched by the help of the AFAF is Senior Airman Jenita Carter, 27th Comptroller Squadron.

Upon arriving at Cannon at the end of May 2006, she waited until late August for her vehicle to arrive from overseas. When she went to pick it up, the vehicle did not run.

"I knew that the reason was entirely the shipping company's fault, but of course they blamed it on wear and tear since my car wasn't new," said Airman Carter. "I had no money set aside for such an emergency."

Yet again, a first sergeant suggested the AFAS. With an estimate from a mechanic, the AFAS gave Airman Carter check in less than one hour. The AFAS worker did not stop there. "She even called the mechanic to ensure that the estimate wouldn't be too far from the actual cost," said Airman Carter, "so I wouldn't have any more surprises once I got back down there."

The AFAF campaign supports four charities:
-- The AFAS is the official charity of the Air Force. It is chartered to assist in relieving financial emergencies faced by active duty members and their families. It also assists Reserve and Guard personnel who face unique emergencies. For more information, visit www.afas.org.

-- Air Force Villages provides widows of career retired Air Force officers with dignified, appropriate and cost-effective living options. For more information, visit www.airforcevillages.com/about.html .

-- The Air Force Enlisted Village is a non-profit organization that provides a home to enlisted widows and indigent enlisted widows of the Air Force They also provide housing and services to spouses of enlisted members who die on active duty. For more information, visit www.afenlistedwidows.org.

-- The General and Mrs. Curtis E. LeMay Foundation enables surviving spouses to continue living in their own home and community and not struggle to meet daily living needs. They help with monthly supplemental grants to assist with food, rent, utilities and possibly health care. For more information, visit www.lemayfoundation.org.
Cash donations are accepted, but payroll deductions are preferred.

Individuals interested in donating should contact their unit representative.