By Buddy Blouin
Humanitarian efforts are ingrained within every branch of the U.S. military. American troops go wherever they're needed to provide their services toward helping deliver food, supplies, rescues, and more. This spirit is exactly what makes it so fitting that each branch of the military has its own charity that gives back to those serving our country. The Air Force Aid Society (AFAS), as the name would suggest, is the official charity of the U.S. Air Force. Learn more about how it all came to be, what they do, and how to get involved.

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The Mission of the Air Force Aid Society

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f2vVc4K46z8 Founded by General Henry H. Arnold in 1942, the Air Force Aid Society (AFAS) helps Airmen and Guardians during their times of need. This means holding a four-star rating on Charity Navigator and allocating 100% of individual donations to help Airmen and Guardians. While our heroes are known for their resilience and strength, they are human and all too often find themselves fighting more than just on the battlefield. The AFAS is here to help. Connecting our heroes with programs, funding, and resources, the team at the AF Aid Society are experts at getting the right help to the right people. There is a commitment to ensure that what the AFAS offers continues to serve Airmen and Guardians through whichever effort is offered. In 2021 alone, the AFAS helped in the following ways:
  • $13.5 million went directly to Airmen, Guardians, and their families.
  • 94% of AFAS Emergency Financial Assistance went to Active Duty, Guard, and Reserve Airmen (Total Force). The remaining 6% went to widows and retirees of the community.
  • More than 19,000 people working to advance the interests of either the U.S. Air Force or the U.S. Space Force received assistance from the charity.
The mission is clear, and the execution is undeniable. When Airmen, Guardians, and their families need help, the Air Force Aid Society answers the call.

How AFAS Helps Airmen

To understand how the AFAS helps, it’s important to break down the three main ways this organization goes about delivering assistance:

1. Emergency Assistance

When emergencies strike and affect our Airmen and Guardians, the AFAS is ready to help. Everything from loans to disaster assistance to resources are available. Here are the options available to this military community:
  • Standard Assistance.
  • Falcon Loans (Air Force Aid Society loan).
  • Which Loan Is Right For Me.
  • Resources for Referring Leaders.
  • Natural Disaster.

2. Education Support

The cost of education continues to rise, and if you're a qualifying member looking for an Air Force Aid Society scholarship, you’re in luck because you have options. There's also the Air Force Aid Society grant and other resources available:
  • General Henry H. Arnold Education Grant.
  • AFAS Merit Scholarship.
  • CSU Scholarship.
  • AFAS Supplemental Education Loan Program.

3. Community Programs

The idea that “it takes a village” can be seen throughout the Air Force Aid Society, with families being provided with plenty of programs that help them thrive. Raising a child is hard, and doing so while serving our country only adds to the complexities. Luckily, resources are available:
  • Bundles for Babies.
  • Child Care Programs.
  • Spouse Employment Program.
  • Heart Link Spouse Orientation Program.

Ways To Give Back to Our Airmen

If you’re looking to give back to our heroes, there are multiple ways to do so. Thankfully, because of the solid ratings and operational practices of the AFAS, you know that when you give, it goes directly to help those in need. Donations can be made online in varying time frames. If you only want to make a one-time donation, do so as a corporation, provide a donation as a tribute to a loved one, or reoccur monthly, these options and more are all available.

Where Is the Air Force Aid Society Near Me?

If you’re in need of help, there are AFAS locations available worldwide. Just find the closest Air Force or Space Force base near you to find a location. Should this not be a viable option for your family, other Military Relief Societies or the American Red Cross Service to the Armed Forces can help. The Air Force Aid Society continues its legacy of helping those who put themselves second for the good of our country. All year long, if you're looking for a wonderful cause to give back to, the AFAS is as worthy as they come.

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Image: afas.org



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