As wildfires devastate large areas of the Western United States, American Airlines team members have stepped up to provide relief and show appreciation to those on the frontlines of the battle to contain them with some assistance from the Gary Sinise Foundation.
In late September, more than 60 volunteers at American’s Robert E. Crandall Campus in Fort Worth assembled 2,500 snack packages for first responders in California, Oregon and Washington. The bags included a variety of items such as cookies, crackers and other snacks and were personally delivered over the weekend to 10 locations across California, Oregon and Washington State.
“Our firefighters worked tirelessly and courageously to help control the wildfires that burnt over 240,000 acres and destroyed 170 structures in North Central Washington last month,” said Bill Valance, District Fire Chief for Douglas Okanogan Fire District 15. “To receive this small token of appreciation shows our first responders and communities that they are not on their own and are being supported.”
Throughout the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, American’s Military and Veteran Initiatives (MVI) team has organized volunteer events to assemble and deliver more than 14,500 snack packages for quarantined service members, homeless veterans, patients and staff at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, COVID-19 testing sites, a Soldiers home in Massachusetts, and the crew of the USS Bonhomme Richard, which was devastated by a fire in July.
“Giving care packages to acknowledge the incredible challenges first responders on a face daily basis is a small but tangible way of letting these heroes know we are thinking about them and their safety,” said Toni Russell, an American retiree who now works for the Gary Sinise Foundation. “I couldn’t be prouder of these two organizations who partnered together to reach those heroes on the front lines battling the blazes.”
In addition to care packages for firefighters, American activated its American Red Cross giving platform to raise funds for the nonprofit’s efforts on the frontlines of the wildfire crisis. American is proud to be a $1 million member of the American Red Cross Annual Disaster Giving Program. The airline provides miles to provide travel for Red Cross staff and volunteers who provide critical services in times of need.
So far in 2020, the carrier and its customers have raised more than $3.7 million for Red Cross relief efforts.
American Airlines and the Gary Sinise Foundation deliver snack care packages to firefighters in Brewster, Washington, during a three-state West Coast tour. The Douglas Okanogan District 15 firefighters recently battled a wildfire that scorched more than 240,000 acres and destroyed 170 structures in the area.
Source: American Airlines