Despite the challenges of 2020, Air Canada Foundation has successfully continued its tradition of helping Canadian families in need from coast to coast.
For December alone, over $135,000 (net) was raised through an inaugural public online auction, along with over 1 million Aeroplan points through its annual Matching Campaign.
The auction funds raised will be redistributed to Canadian registered charities which focus on the health and well-being of children and youth, while the Aeroplan points donated by Aeroplan and its members will go toward the Hospital Transportation Program to help connect sick children to the medical care they need away from home.
Priscille Leblanc, Chair of the Air Canada Foundation, said that: “Despite the seemingly endless challenges of 2020, many individuals opened their physical and digital wallets to donate money and points to help make a positive difference in the lives of children and youth.”
Leblanc continued: “From the bottom of our hearts, we sincerely thank you for this generosity. It is with heartfelt gratitude that we also acknowledge all our partners, Air Canada employees and retirees, other donors and supporters in bringing these initiatives to life,” said
Each year, through its Hospital Transportation Program, the Air Canada Foundation donates Aeroplan points to 15 pediatric hospitals across Canada to help children reach the medical care they need away from home.
A few years ago, Arianne was referred to the Montreal Children’s Hospital, located 11-12 hours by car from her home in Sept-Îles, Quebec.
Since then, Arianne has been using the Air Canada Foundation Hospital Transportation Program to access the care she needs. Her trips to the Montreal Children’s Hospital are made possible because of the generous donations made by Aeroplan and its members
More than 300 employees came together to help out in their local communities across the country.
- In Montreal, over 150 employees and their family members became Santa for a day, brightening the spirits of more than 200 children in need through Quebec-based charity, Opération Père Noël.
- Employees in Toronto rallied to raise donations for Second Harvest’s Turkey Drive to help nourish those who have been hit hard by the pandemic.
- Vancouver-based employees in collaboration with Covenant House Vancouver, assembled Christmas backpacks full of brand-new gifts for youth experiencing homelessness.
- In New Brunswick, employees volunteered with the YMCA of Greater Saint John to sell Christmas trees, enabling the Y to raise funds for part of the Strong Communities fund, SJ Newcomer Center Scholarship fund and Emergency Support fund.
Arielle Meloul-Wechsler, executive vice president, chief human resources and communications officer at Air Canada, commented: “Our employees have opened their hearts, going above and beyond to help others. I am grateful for their outstanding dedication and resilience, core values that reflect our strong culture. We believe that our employees are our greatest asset, and their full participation in the communities we serve allows our airline to truly thrive.”
In addition to its December achievements, key initiatives undertaken throughout 2020 included:
- Air Canada and the Air Canada Foundation initiated a food rescue effort across Canada, offering more than 570,000 kilograms of food from April to December, representing more than 1.2 million meals. These efforts supported more than 70 frontline social service organizations across eight provinces and over 1.3 million kg of greenhouse gases were averted from the avoidance of new food production, processing or retailoring.
- Air Canada donated and diverted from landfill more than 80 banners to a Toronto-based community initiative producing 1,000 face coverings for Michael Garron Hospital.
- In October, Air Canada Cargo and the Foundation brought Drone Delivery Canada (DDC), the Pontiac Group, GlobalMedic and generous donors together to implement DDC’s drone delivery solution for the Beausoleil First Nation Community in Ontario.
- Air Canada employees supported the Canadian Red Cross’s efforts in the fight against COVID-19, either by recruiting 400+ medical support staff for the Centre intégré universitaire de santé et de services sociaux of West Montreal Island, or by becoming Emergency Care Workers in Long Term Care homes.
To donate or for more on the Foundation’s programs, partners and events, go to www.aircanada.com/foundation .