Following its record-breaking fundraising year, the Air Canada Foundation has now donated to date more than $2.4 million, to charitable organizations for programs dedicated to the health and well-being of children and youth in Canada.
"All of us at Air Canada are extremely proud of the positive effect the Air Canada Foundation is having, working through its tremendous partners to promote the well-being of children in our local communities," said Calin Rovinescu, President and CEO of Air Canada. "During these difficult times needs are greater than ever and we are determined to overcome the challenges of COVID-19 so that we can continue to serve local communities and contribute to the social and economic health of our country. We believe that in business, you do well by doing good and we take this very much to heart."
Despite these unprecedented times, which has resulted in the cancellation of its key fundraising activities, in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Air Canada Foundation is pursuing its efforts to support communities and help Canadian families in need in different ways, by providing in-kind support and making meaningful connections.
Following the tragic events in Beirut, Lebanon, the Foundation launched a fundraising campaign with its employees to provide humanitarian aid. Donations will be sent to The Canadian Red Cross, one of Air Canada's humanitarian partners. Funds will go to the Lebanon Humanitarian Needs Appeal to support the Lebanese Red Cross that helps people through its ambulance services, medical centres, mobile clinics and disaster response units.
The Foundation worked closely with the Canadian food rescue organization Second Harvest to redistribute fresh food items from Air Canada's in-flight kitchens as the airline suspended the majority of its international and U.S. transborder flights as a result of the crisis.
From April to end of July, nearly 246,000 kg of food was redistributed, which represents the equivalent of 174,000 meals. The diversion from landfill also represents an approximate greenhouse gas reduction of 253 tCO2e.
Air Canada Cargo and the Air Canada Foundation recently brought industry partners together, including Drone Delivery Canada (DDC), the Pontiac Group and long-time charitable partner GlobalMedic, as well as generous donors, to deploy a patented drone delivery solution to the Beausoleil First Nation (BFN) community in Ontario.
A ground-breaking project that provides a rapidly implementable solution to an immediate problem for the First Nation: maintaining a steady stream of medical supplies that are critical in the fight against COVID-19, while also limiting person-to-person contact.
300+ fundraisers & charities
Through financial contributions and other in-kind support, the Air Canada Foundation is assisting 315 charitable organizations and 396 fundraisers. The Foundation also worked closely with the Canadian Red Cross and GlobalMedic to provide humanitarian relief for natural disasters impacting Canada and the Caribbean. Further details about the Foundation's activities can be found in the Air Canada Foundation Impact Report.
Highlights of the 2019 Impact Report include:
- More than $2.2 million net raised.
- The annual Air Canada Foundation golf tournament alone raised a record-breaking $1.2 million net.
- The Every Bit Counts program, the collection of loose change of any denomination on board and in Maple Leaf Lounges, raised over $406,000.
- Aeroplan Members donated over 10 million Aeroplan miles toward the Hospital Transportation Program, which helped more than 220 children access the medical care they need away from home.
Air Canada's employees, through the Volunteer Involvement Program, also dedicate their time in various fundraising activities. This included Open Skies for Autism, initiated by an Air Canada flight-attendant that welcomed more than 100 children and adults with autism, and their families, from Jake's House and Autism Ontario, for a simulated airport and pre-flight experience.
"It's through our supporters that we are able to continue the work that we do. The Foundation has made a significant difference in the lives of thousands of children across the country with the unwavering support and generosity of Air Canada, its employees and partners. To each of you, we extend a heartfelt thank you on behalf of all the children and families whose lives are touched by the Foundation," said Priscille LeBlanc, Chair of the Air Canada Foundation.
For more information on the Air Canada Foundation and ways to donate, visit aircanada.com/foundation.
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