BAMBERG, Germany - The 2010 Army Emergency Relief Campaign will begin March 1 at Warner Barracks, and Armywide.

The campaign is conducted annually between March 1 and May 15.

Army Community Service employee Eugene Newbold is coordinating the training for all unit AER representatives on Warner Barracks.

"The Army selected this time period to allow installations commanders maximum flexibility in scheduling their training and support missions," Newbold said.

Additionally, this timeframe enables local campaigns to coordinate and complete the campaign in time to meet the mandatory allotment start date, he said.

That date, directed by the Defense Finances and Accounting Service for all Military Services fundraising campaigns, is June 1.

Newbold listed the three reasons for the annual campaign:

1. To Promote awareness of AER and programs that are available to active soldier, retirees, widows and family members.

2. The campaign provides a wonderful opportunity for all active duty and retired Soldiers to contribute to the welfare of their fellow soldiers.

3. Campaign donations insure that AER meets the requirements for status as a non-profit, tax exempt 501 organization.

AER not only provides training for unit representatives or Keypersons, but also supplies posters, flyers and other publicity materials and information.
Initial AER unit representative training took place Feb. 17 at the Army Community Service building. Representatives who could not attend can go to ACS for desktop training.

"The training shows the unit reps how to fill out the forms and handle them, and what to do with the money," Newbold said.

With the 173rd Airborne Brigade currently deployed to Afghanistan, multiple units are absent from Warner Barracks, but they can still contribute.

"Working with deployed units takes additional coordination, but it is worth the effort," Newbold said. "Garrisons with deploying units during the campaign period may wish to request early distributions of some of their materials in a timely manner."

Newbold encouraged Soldiers to get involved.

"It is really great for the Soldiers to be involved locally," Newbold said. "It's Soldiers helping Soldiers, because it's money donated to Soldiers and retirees."

Last year AER received $42,000 in contributions from the Bamberg community. With around 50 percent of the Soldiers deployed the goal is to receive about 70 percent of the previous years' contributions.