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Air Force Aid Society helps thousands with emergency funds

45th Operations Group Superintendent Chief Master Sgt. Frank Evans, 45th OG Commander Col. Bernie Gruber, Air Force Assistance Fund keyworker Capt. Chris Ryder of the 45th Operations Support Squadron and Deputy Commander Col. Myron Fortson fill out their AFAF forms March 4. (U.S. Air Force photo by Chris Calkins)

45th Operations Group Superintendent Chief Master Sgt. Frank Evans, 45th OG Commander Col. Bernie Gruber, Air Force Assistance Fund keyworker Capt. Chris Ryder of the 45th Operations Support Squadron and Deputy Commander Col. Myron Fortson fill out their AFAF forms March 4. (U.S. Air Force photo by Chris Calkins)

PATRICK AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. -- The Air Force Assistance Fund (AFAF) raises funds for four charities that support Air Force men and women and their families. Of those, the charity that probably supports personnel at Patrick AFB and Cape Canaveral AFS more than any other is the Air Force Aid Society (AFAS).

The AFAS is the official charity of the Air Force, and its charter is to provide worldwide emergency assistance to AF members and their families, sponsoring educational assistance programs, and offering a variety of base community enhancement programs that improve member/family welfare.

In 2008 the AFAS provided total direct assistance to more than 45,000 Air Force members and families totaling $24.3 million, of which more than $158,000 went to Patrick AFB & Cape Canaveral AFS members. This $158,000 helped members with emergency needs such as paying for rent/mortgages and vehicle repairs, as well as allowed for programs such "Give Parents a Break" and the "HAP Arnold Grant Program" to be offered to PAFB members. Additional information on the AFAS benefits and programs can be found through the PAFB Airman & Family Readiness Center.

The AFAS relies solely on individual donations to fund its activities and 100 percent of the donations to the AFAS through the Air Force Assistance Fund support the emergency assistance programs and provide much needed assistance to AF members and families when there are no other resources to turn to.

The 2009 AFAF drive runs until April 10. This year the goal for Patrick AFB is $39,210. Please see your Unit Project Officer or section keyworker to contribute to this valuable cause.