RANDOLPH AIR FORCE BASE, Texas (AFNS) --
Air Force officials are introducing a new concept this year for the annual Air Force Assistance Fund "Commitment to Caring" campaign, which provides Airmen the opportunity to contribute to four official Air Force charitable organizations.
The campaign, now in its 37th year, will run during a designated six-week period from Feb. 8 to May 7 and will feature a first-ever competition between installations within a group with similar past performances in the AFAF campaign.
Bases will compete for the top spot within each group based on point values in several categories: percent over goal; donation amount equal to or greater than the previous year's amount; and active-duty participation rate.
Air Force Aid Society officials will award a $2,500 cash prize to the winning installation in each group to be used for programs supporting the base community.
Contributions to the AFAF benefit active-duty, Reserve and Guard members as well as retired Air Force members, surviving spouses and families.
Most Air Force bases will begin and end their campaigns within one of three designated timeframes:
Group 1: Feb. 8-March 19
Group 2: March 8-April 16
Group 3: March 29-May 7
A small, fourth group consists of those bases that have opted out of competition this year due to timing conflicts and the base's operations tempo.
"The AFAF has a long tradition of providing critical assistance to members of our Air Force family," said Bill D'Avanzo, chief of Air Force Fundraising. "Whether they become victims of natural disasters or endure the personal hardships of deployments, accidents, illness, aging or death, these charities are there to provide fast and reliable help."
People can contribute by cash, check or money order, or use payroll deductions for:
-- The Air Force Aid Society
, which provides Airmen and their families worldwide with emergency financial assistance, education assistance and an array of base-level community-enhancement programs. More information is available at www.afas.org
-- The Air Force Enlisted Village
, which includes Teresa Village in Fort Walton Beach, Fla. and Bob Hope Village in Shalimar, Fla., near Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. The fund provides homes and financial assistance to widows and widowers of retired enlisted people 55 and older. Hawthorn House, also in Shalimar, provides assisted living for residents requiring more assistance than others, including 24-hour nursing care. More information is available at www.afenlistedwidows.org
-- Air Force Village
, which includes Air Force Village I and II in San Antonio, a life-care community for retired officers, spouses, widows or widowers and family members. The Air Force Village Web site is www.airforcevillages.com
-- The General and Mrs. Curtis E. LeMay Foundation
, which provides rent and financial assistance to widows and widowers of officer and enlisted retirees in their homes and communities through financial grants of assistance. The LeMay Foundation Web site is www.lemay-foundation.org
Contributions to the AFAF are tax deductible. For more information about the charitable organizations and AFAF visit www.afassistancefund.org
To find out base group assignments, scoring information for the new competition and additional information about the 2010 Air Force Assistance Fund campaign visit AFPC's secure "Ask" site
or call the 24/7 Total Force Service Center toll-free at (800)-525-0102.