WHAT IS THE AIR FORCE AID SOCIETY?
The roots of the Society go back to 1942 in response to General Henry “Hap” Arnold’s concern that members of his Army Air Forces faced unique hardships in meeting the challenges of World War II. He wanted a national organization which could provide emergency assistance to the wives and children of war victims and assure the availability of educational assistance to those families.
IS THE AIR FORCE AID SOCIETY AN OFFICIAL USAF ORGANIZATION?
WHERE DOES THE AFAS GET ITS FUNDING?
WHY ISN’T AFAS PART OF THE CFC?
DO DONATIONS COVER ALL AFAS ASSISTANCE DISBURSEMENTS EACH YEAR?
HOW MUCH OF DONATED DOLLARS IS SPENT ON AFAS PROGRAMS?
Every dollar donated to the Society supports our emergency assistance, education grant, and community enhancement programs. In 2018, the Society received $7.4 million in donations, including $2.3 million from the Air Force Assistance Fund campaign. During the same year, AFAS provided nearly $21.4 million in total support to Airmen and their families. For every dollar donated in 2018, the Society provided three dollars in assistance to Air Force families. In order to close this spending gap, the Society relies on the repayment of interest-free loans and the income earned on the Society’s investment portfolio. This allows the Society to satisfy 100% of emergency assistance requirements in addition to funding the education grant and community enhancement programs. The return generated by the Society’s investment portfolio also funds the staffing and other operating costs necessary to run the organization’s national headquarters office in Arlington, Virginia.
HOW MUCH MONEY DO YOU KEEP IN RESERVE?
The Air Force Aid Society has worked hard over the years to maintain a reserve fund that adequately supports the level of program services it provides. These funds are subject to the careful oversight of the AFAS Board of Trustees and the AFAS Headquarters managerial staff with professional oversight provided by a third party investment advisor hired to help manage the portfolio. Income generated by investing the Society’s reserve funds is critical to maintaining the current level of program spending. To bridge the spending gap between the annual cost of the Society’s programs and operations, which averages approximately $15 million per year, and the $6 million in donations it receives each year, the Society must pull approximately $9 million from its investment reserves to break even. The Society’s reserve fund also provides the flexibility to adapt to change and the ability to assist with significant unforeseen emergencies such as natural disasters or government shutdowns. To support Air Force families affected by Hurricane Michael in Florida, the Society was able to provide $6.5 million of support in 2018 using regular reserve spending and by pulling additional funds from the reserve portfolio. As a result, at the end of 2018 the Society’s investment portfolio and operating cash holdings dropped to just short of $182.5 million.
HOW MANY AIR FORCE PEOPLE DID THE SOCIETY HELP LAST YEAR?
Over 37,000 assists were provided to Air Force members and their families, totaling $21.4 million in total assistance last year. In response to Hurricane Michael in Florida, over 5,000 Air Force families were given $6.5 million in relief aid to help support their recovery.
WHO IS ELIGIBLE FOR AFAS ASSISTANCE?
- Active duty Air Force members and their dependents
- Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve personnel on extended active duty for more than 15 days under Title 10 USC (assistance is limited to emergencies incidental to, or resulting from, member’s active duty tour)
- Air National Guard personnel on Title 32 USC 502(f) Active Guard Reserve (AGR) orders
- Retired Air Force members and their dependents
- Dependent spouses and dependent-aged children of deceased Air Force personnel (who died on active duty or in retired status)
HOW DO AIRMEN APPLY FOR AFAS ASSISTANCE?
WHAT IF AN AIR FORCE MEMBER NEEDS HELP BUT ISN'T NEAR AN AIR FORCE BASE?
WHAT KIND OF ASSISTANCE DOES THE AFAS NORMALLY PROVIDE?
DOES THE SOCIETY HAVE ANY OTHER PROGRAMS?
IT'S OBVIOUS THAT THE AFAS HAS ACTIVE PROGRAMS AND AMBITIOUS GOALS. BUT WHO DO YOU REALLY HELP?
The numbers speak for themselves! In 2018, 79% of emergency assistance dollars was provided to the Active Force (including eligible Air Force Reserve and Air National Guard). Another 21% supported Air Force retired and widowed persons. Support to retired and widowed persons increased in 2018 due to Hurricane Michael support.