The AIR FORCE AID SOCIETY (AFAS) is the official charity of the U.S. Air Force. It promotes the Air Force mission by helping “to relieve distress of Air Force members and their families and assisting them to finance their education”. Through the years, AFAS has become increasingly effective in helping individuals with personal emergencies – as well as extremely useful when used by commanders to help solve personnel problems in their units.
AFAS is the Air Force’s way of taking care of its own through interest-free loans or grants for emergencies and basic needs. Examples that could qualify an individual, depending upon circumstances, are:
Give Parents a Break – The purpose of this program is to offer eligible parents a few hours break from the stresses of parenting due to deployments, special needs, or other unique circumstances. Active duty Air Force families may use this time to suit their personal needs. Parents can receive a certificate from their Squadron commander/first sergeant, Chaplain, Doctor or other medical professional, Family Advocacy personnel, Child Development Center personnel, and the Airman & Family Readiness Center. Read more about this program at www.AFAS.org.
Bundles for Babies – If you are an Air Force active duty member or spouse of an active duty member who is expecting a baby or is a new mother, you are encouraged to contact us to sign up for a “Bundles for Babies” class and, upon completion of the class, receive a free “bundle” that the Air Force Aid Society purchased from the Gerber Company. This gift from the AFAS consists of a tote bag, receiving blanket, washcloths, hooded towels, sleepers, onesies and more! Read more about this program at www.AFAS.org.
Car Care Because We Care – The program is designed to keep the primary family vehicle of deployed active duty Air Force members in top running condition by providing preventive vehicle maintenance. This maintenance includes oil/filter change, lubrication, and vehicle safety checks on a grant basis. This program is available to Spouses of active duty Air Force members deployed for more than 30 days or on a remote assignment. Read more about this program at www.AFAS.org.
Child Care for Volunteers – Recognizing the importance of volunteers to the base community, the Air Force Aid Society provides funding for the Child Care for Volunteers program. The AFAS will provide child care expenses in AF licensed or affiliated family day care homes for volunteers who are engaged in supporting programs which benefit the Air Force community. Read more about this program at www.AFAS.org.
Child Care for PCS – This program is intended to help relieve some of the stress felt by families in the process of a PCS move. The Air Force Aid Society (AFAS) will pay up to 20 hours of child care (per child) in licensed Family Child Care (FCC) homes on base or in Air Force affiliated homes off base. Families with PCS orders can obtain a Child Care for PCS Certificate at the Airman & Family Readiness Center. Families can receive a certificate at both the base from which they are departing and at their new base. Certificates are good only at the base at which they are issued — unused hours do not transfer from one base to another. Families may use the 20 hours of child care within 60 days before the family’s departure from a base, and 60 days after arriving at the new base. This program is open to all ranks. Read more about this program at www.AFAS.org.
Respite Care Program – This program is intended for active duty Air Force families who have a family member with special needs. The goal of the program is to provide a “break” for a few hours a week or month to families who have the responsibility of 24 hour a day care for an ill or disabled family member. This person may be a child, spouse, or parent living in the household. The stress of providing care, the burden of medical expenses, plus the high cost of hiring someone to provide care, make it difficult if not impossible to be able to afford even a few hours away. AFAS Assistance for respite is based on need. Read more about this program at www.AFAS.org.
Spouse Orientation Program (Heart Link) – The Air Force Aid Society contributes to our Heart Link Program. The objective of the Heart Link Program is to strengthen military families and enhance mission readiness. Appreciating that spouses play an important role in re-enlistment decisions, therefore impacting retention, a major program goal is to help spouses, especially those with the Air Force five years of less, acclimate to the Air Force/military environment. Each base appoints a Heart Link Administrator to oversee the program, which includes orientation activities consisting of presentations, interactive games and exercises that should, by the end of the day, leave spouses feeling they are an important and respected part of the Air Force team. A program highlight is a visit from the Wing Commander who presents a coin to each spouse for completing the program.