When you absolutely, positively shouldn’t be without family

in Aviation & Charity,Marketing for Nonprofits

You served in Afghanistan and were severely wounded. Multiple surgeries and treatment sessions are required over several months … even years. This means multiple trips back and forth to the hospital.

Now imagine having to go through all that alone.

Alone not because your family chooses to stay away! But alone because the hospital is over 700 miles from where you and your family live. And you don’t have the money for anyone but you – the veteran – to fly to the hospital. That means weeks at a time away from those who care most about you at a time when you absolutely need to have them by your side.

That’s where nonprofits utilizing “public benefit flying” enter the picture. What is public benefit flying?

It’s everyday Americans (who are also pilots) volunteering their time, flying expertise, and their aircraft to fly for the public benefit.

An "Eclipse Jet" similar to one donated to the Veterans Airlift Command

Veterans Airlift Command (VAC) is one such example and there are over 70 other charities whose mission depends on pilot volunteers.

What prompted this post was the news that a generous, caring person recently donated an Eclipse Jet to the VAC. This anonymous gift puts a tremendous asset in the hands of a worthy charity.

To quote from the VAC website: “The VAC provides free air transportation to wounded veterans and their families for medical and other compassionate purposes, through a national network of volunteer aircraft owners and pilots. Our priority is on the veterans of Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom (Afghanistan).”

As I said earlier, there are over 70 charities that depend on pilots volunteering their time and aircraft. Examples of the services and needs met by public benefit flying include:

  • Search and rescue missions
  • Environmental observation and monitoring
  • Transporting patients to medical facilities that can’t afford alternate transportation
  • Delivering organs, blood and tissue
  • Disaster and emergency relief (e.g., the weeks immediately following the 9-11 attacks; and flying relief to Haiti after the 2010 earthquake)

Visit the Air Care Alliance (ACA) website for a complete list of all the public benefit flying charities. The Alliance is also a nonprofit serving as an umbrella to direct the public to the nonprofit that can best meet its needs. In other words, you don’t have to search the web and hope to find a solution. The Alliance will connect you with those who can help.

There’s still a lot of good in the world. Pilots and aviation supply huge chunks of good day-in and day-out across America and overseas. Saving lives. Bringing families together. Saving pets. Protecting the environment. Public benefit flying is truly a worthy cause.

Want to read more about aviation serving charities?

When dogs fly

Wings of Hope – Wings of Peace … Nobel Peace Prize nominee

Aviation and charity go wing-in-hand

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