Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Delta Pledges $1 Million in Cash, In-Kind Support for Japan Disaster Relief

/PRNewswire/ -- Delta Air Lines (NYSE: DAL) is pledging $1 million in cash and in-kind support to disaster relief efforts in Japan following last week's devastating earthquake and tsunami. The airline's efforts are centered on two relief programs:

American Red Cross and Japanese Red Cross Society – The Delta Air Lines Foundation, Delta's company-managed giving system, is providing an immediate $250,000 cash donation to the Japanese Red Cross Society to support rescue and recovery efforts. This donation will be supplemented by cash contributions from Delta customers and employees who are encouraged to donate via a dedicated Delta-Red Cross website. Donations made at this site will be routed directly to the Japanese Red Cross Society's efforts to assist persons in affected areas. These donations are in addition to Delta's long-standing agreement with the American Red Cross to provide complimentary cargo and passenger capacity, if needed, to help move relief supplies and workers to and from disaster areas around the world.

SkyWish Asia – Delta has committed to match up to 5 million miles against customers' donations to World Vision Japan through its SkyWish Asia program. Delta customers are encouraged to visit the SkyWish Asia website where they can donate miles to World Vision Japan to help transport relief workers and supplies to Japan. World Vision has worked in Japan for more than two decades. In the wake of a disaster, World Vision is often one of the first organizations to begin relief work by distributing pre-positioned supplies.

In addition to the immediate $250,000 cash donation to the Japanese Red Cross Society and the up to 5 million mile donation to World Vision Japan, Delta will supplement any employee and customer contributions with additional cash, if needed, to fulfill its $1 million pledge.

Delta's Japan-based employees also are receiving any needed assistance through a nonprofit organization led and funded by Delta people known as the Delta Employee & Retiree Care Fund. Delta employees donate directly to this fund via payroll deduction or via their internal employee website. Donations will be used to assist any Delta employee in Japan seeking assistance in the wake of last week's events.

"Japan is a core part of our global network and we are committed to finding ways to help those in need following last week's devastating earthquake," said Vinay Dube, senior vice president – Asia-Pacific. "Delta's 1,200 employees in Japan, backed by the support of 80,000 worldwide, are rallying together to do what we can to make a difference and we encourage our customers to join us by donating money or miles to our dedicated charities."

Due to stringent international security and customs requirements, Delta can only accept relief cargo shipments through pre-approved relief organizations including the American Red Cross. At this time, the Red Cross has requested monetary donations. Customers wishing to contribute in other ways should clear these requests through the Red Cross.

Delta is the largest U.S.-based airline in Japan with more than 40 peak-day departures from four airports – Tokyo-Narita, Tokyo-Haneda, Nagoya and Osaka. The company employs more than 1,200 people in Japan and operates an international flight hub at Tokyo's Narita International Airport.

Delta Air Lines serves more than 160 million customers each year. With an industry-leading global network, Delta and the Delta Connection carriers offer service to 356 destinations in 65 countries on six continents. Headquartered in Atlanta, Delta employs 80,000 employees worldwide and operates a mainline fleet of more than 700 aircraft. A founding member of the SkyTeam global alliance, Delta participates in the industry's leading trans-Atlantic joint venture with Air France-KLM and Alitalia. Including its worldwide alliance partners, Delta offers customers more than 13,000 daily flights, with hubs in Amsterdam, Atlanta, Cincinnati, Detroit, Memphis, Minneapolis-St. Paul, New York-JFK, Paris-Charles de Gaulle, Salt Lake City and Tokyo-Narita. The airline's service includes the SkyMiles frequent flier program, the world's largest airline loyalty program; the award-winning BusinessElite service; and more than 50 Delta Sky Clubs in airports worldwide. Delta is investing more than $2 billion through 2013 in airport facilities and global products, services and technology to enhance the customer experience in the air and on the ground. Customers can check in for flights, print boarding passes, check bags and review flight status at

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Friday, March 11, 2011

Making ripples at The Children's Village

Earlier today I went to a lunch and took a tour at The Children's Village at Christian City. It wasn't the first time I've taken a tour and it won't be the last! I always drive away from a visit with my little brain furiously working trying to figure out how I can help.

As always I am awed by the dedication and caring of those who work at Christian City. It is inspiring to hear them talk about their mission to help kids. Every time I go out there I learn a little more and put those who donate, work, and volunteer on just a bit higher pedestal.

As the saying goes, these folks don't just talk the talk, they walk it. Their impact on the world is so much more than the proverbial pebble tossed in the lake. They throw boulders bigger than most of us could handle! They make some huge ripples.

Today I found out more about those who have donated to help at Christian City. Kool Aide donated a huge chunk to build a really nice playground for the children. Over 200 volunteers then got together and helped to prep and put the playground together.

Heritage Christian Church spent hours picking up rocks and sticks to clear the main area where the playground resides and someday a nice pavillion will rest.

Bob Adams Homes donated a lot to help build the first four cottages and admin offices. That's Phase 1. There are two more phases awaiting volunteers, donations and time.

Who else? There were so many mentioned today who have given so much. Some give $30 a month to support a child, others collect underwear and socks, some donate their time, some simply pray.

I wish I had a huge check book. I wish I had more time to raise money. I wish I could do more than just toss teeny-tiny little pebbles into the pond. However, I know that we all do what we can do and that if enough of us toss our little pebbles together we can make some huge ripples of our own!

They mentioned during the tour that if they could get 1500 people to donate $30 a month then the needs of the children would be covered. They're not quite half way to that goal. I figure that I can scrape up a dollar a day to help a local child in need. Shoot, I spend more than that on bottled water and drinks each day.

I'm going to think more on ways to help. Maybe I'll get a jar and start tossing change in it for the kids. I may not get to $30 each month, but it'll be something! Wouldn't it be cool to start a change for Christian City fund raiser? Hmmm... little ideas bubble and sometimes turn into something worth pursuing.

They need toilet paper, cleaning supplies, zip-lock bags, 13-gallon trash bags, body wash, toothpaste, peanut butter, boxed macaroni and cheese, individually wrapped snacks and drinks, kid type cereals... toothpaste, toothbrushes... pretty much anything that you need as you go about your daily life! I suppose that I could swing getting an extra on some of those things when I go grocery shopping. Ha, I bet if I cleaned out my closets I could find a ton of unopened things I thought I'd try and never used... somehow I don't think they'd appreciate some of the things I might find in my closets! I'll keep thinking.

Want to know more about The Children's Village? Christian City? Call them (770-703-2636) and ask for a tour... they do more than help kids, they have many services to help all ages. They've been around since 1965 helping children, then expanding to help the elderly. I hope you'll take a minute to connect and maybe make a few ripples of your own! - jmd

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Orchestra to Make Community Donation to Give Kids the World

The Whitewater High School Orchestra in Fayette County is paying it forward to an organization that helped one of its own while dealing with a life-threatening illness.

The Orchestra is scheduled to perform at the Give Kids the World Village in Kissimmee, FL on April 2. Give Kids the World is a nonprofit organization that provides memorable, magical, cost-free experiences to children with life-threatening illnesses and their families by arranging visits to the Central Florida attractions. Children and their families stay at the Give Kids the World Village during their visit.

Back in 2004, one of the orchestra’s families was granted a wish by the organization. They and their child, who was diagnosed with leukemia, stayed at the village and visited Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom and Universal Studios, all at no cost to the family. Fortunately, this child’s story has a happy ending.

“The young man’s leukemia is in remission. Now it is our turn to repay the gift,” says orchestra teacher Darilyn Esterline.

The orchestra would like to give the nonprofit a sizable donation from the community immediately following their performance. Anyone interested in helping is asked to write a check, payable to Give Kids the World, and bring or mail it to Whitewater High School, 100 Wildcat Way, Fayetteville, GA 30215.

The orchestra leaves for Florida on March 31, so donations need to be at the school prior to their departure. More information about Give Kids the World is available on the organization’s website, www. Interested persons can also contact orchestra teacher Darilyn Esterline at 770-460-3935, ext. 219 or by email at

Another way to help is to provide items and supplies needed for the day-to-day operations of the Give Kids the World Village. A copy of a wish list is posted on the GKTW website, click on the “how to help” tab at the top. The school will collect these items as well to present along with monetary donations.

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