Assistance fund provides helping hand to Team Vance

  • Published
  • By Master Sgt. Joe Davis
  • 71st Mission Support Group
Crises aren't limited to national tragedies like the tsunami in Indonesia or Hurricane Katrina that struck last month; some crises are of a personal nature and require a helping hand to provide needed support.
The group first sergeants recognized this need and began the Vance Airman's Assistance Fund to provide financial relief for base people requiring help.
As a first sergeant, I've offered help to several Airmen who have dealt with personal tragedies or problems -- a sick or dying loved one, financial difficulties, car problems and more. Sometimes, problems seem compounded because of a lack of money, and that is where the Airman's Assistance Fund can help.
Operation Warmheart
Every year, the AAF provides funds to sponsor Operation Warmheart, which gives money to needy military families to buy holiday meals. Last year, it made the holidays special for more than 30 Team Vance families.
Providing assistance
Many times, when a loved one is sick or dying, the first thing most people do is book a flight or drive to see the person. When finances keep people from seeing their loved ones, it can make coping with the situation even harder. By providing people with funds to purchase a plane ticket or fix their broken vehicle to get home, the Airman's Assistance Fund has helped give people peace of mind while boosting morale in the process.
Fostering camaraderie
AAF is expanding to promote esprit de corps to Airmen living in the dormitories. In the fall, first sergeants and supervisors will sponsor a burger burn for dormitory residents. The event will help get Airmen out of their rooms to eat and play volleyball while showing them how much we care -- both on and off duty.
Assistance needed
Although the fund provides assistance for several Team Vance members annually, it relies on your generosity to keep it going. The Airman's Assistance Fund is a nonprofit organization that depends on fundraisers and monetary donations to provide the level of support Vance people need.
Just a few dollars from you can help a needy family buy a holiday meal or help an Airman get home to see an ill relative -- maybe for the last time. You may not know who your money has helped -- a neighbor who has fallen on hard times or even a Team Vance member you've never met -- but knowing you've made a difference in people's lives is something you just can't buy.
Lend a hand and make an impact in your community! Contact your group first sergeant to make a donation to the Airman's Assistance Fund.