Voluntary Leave Transfer Program Keeps on Giving Year-Round

LOS ANGELES AIR FORCE BASE, CALIF. -- 'Tis the season of giving when we open our hearts to others less fortunate than ourselves. There are many forms of giving, but there's only one that's designed specifically for federal civil servants that continues to give year-round.

None is more appreciated than the Voluntary Leave Donation Program. According to Title 5, United States Code, Chapter 63, Subchapter III and AFI 36-815, Ch. 9, the program "allows employees experiencing personal or family medical emergency, but to whom paid leave is unavailable, to receive transferred annual leave directly from other civilian employees."

Civilian employees give their hard-earned, annual-leave hours to help out fellow workers faced with medical hardships to themselves or to family members. Donations anonymously given by friends, co-workers, supervisors and even total strangers without expecting anything in return demonstrates the true meaning of the Air Force's Wingman concept. Taking care of one another and looking out for the Air Force "family" members are what it's all about.

The feeling one experiences when the leave balance runs out and advanced leave must be requested is devastating. "What did I do wrong to end up this way?" You start thinking about all those homeless people standing by the freeway exits and wonder how they got that way too. Then facing Leave-Without-Pay status and yet still needing more leave adds to the stress of running out of time and piling bills. It is an unbearable feeling to be in this position. No matter how hard you try, you just can't get out of the hole. You feel lost and totally alone.

How heartwarming it is to know that in time of this personal despair and hopelessness there are those who come to the rescue and ask for nothing in return. It's enough to renew the faith that was once lost.

So in the spirit of the season, and all the seasons throughout the year, "God Bless Everyone!" as Tiny Tim once said. Reach out and you will find others willing to help with open arms.