FORT WORTH, Texas, Dec. 27, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- American Airlines’ 130,000 team members are proud to support the communities where they and their customers live, work, and play. In 2018, American donated more than $35 million in cash and travel value across the globe, with an emphasis in its hub cities: Charlotte, North Carolina; Chicago; Dallas-Fort Worth; Los Angeles; Miami; New York; Philadelphia; Phoenix and Washington, D.C. The company also raised nearly $10 million for its strategic partners through fundraising efforts and the generosity of its customers.
“Our team members have hearts of service and American is proud to support their generosity as they continually give back to their communities,” said Ron DeFeo, Senior Vice President of Global Engagement for American. “While American is in the business of connecting the world, we believe equally in connecting at the ground level in the communities where we do business.”
Volunteering in the Community
American has a rich history of volunteerism, and team members annually donate their time and talents to a variety of efforts through Do Crew, the airline’s volunteer program. Team members earn AAdvantage® miles through American’s Flights for 50 program. With 50 hours of volunteer work, team members are awarded 25,000 miles to allocate to their charity of choice.
“I’m proud to say that American fosters a culture of service,” said CLT-based Flight Attendant Sharon Johnston. “I first began volunteering with Do Crew about 10 years ago with Puppies in Flight, a partnership between American and Assistance Dogs International. Since then, I’ve helped transport more than 300 four-legged heroes to individuals in need — veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, children with autism and individuals with physical disabilities, among others. From puppy number one, I wondered why I hadn’t started sooner. I consider myself fortunate to have spent 40 years with a company that supports so many worthy causes and provides me the opportunity to pay it forward.”
When disaster strikes, Team American steps up. In 2018, team members organized relief packing events in Charlotte, Chicago, Dallas, Miami and Phoenix. These events brought 27,000 hygiene comfort kits; 150,000 pounds of food; 1,000 pillows and blankets; 24,000 duvets; 38,000 pajamas and 11,000 mattress pads to those in critical need in the wake of Hurricanes Florence and Matthew as well as the California wildfires. American is proud to be a $1 million member of the American Red Cross Annual Disaster Giving Program (ADGP) and is committed to supporting those impacted by natural disasters.
Team Tulsa has organized American Red Cross blood drives since 1954. Each year, they host five week-long events, collecting 400 to 500 units of blood. This puts the Tulsa blood drive among the top 20 blood drives in the nation. It’s also the longest-running blood drive in the state of Oklahoma and among the longest running nationally.
Keeping it Local
American supports organizations that matter most to our team members. To support this work, and ensure the greatest impact and reach, Regional Councils provide oversight at the local level. These teams operate in Charlotte, Chicago, Dallas-Fort Worth, Los Angeles, Miami, New York City, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Tulsa and Washington, D.C.
In 2018, American raised more than $5 million through three major fundraising events: American Airlines Celebrity Ski, benefiting the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation; American Airlines Charity Golf, benefiting Answer ALS; and American Airlines Sky Ball, benefiting the Airpower Foundation, a nationwide organization dedicated to supporting members of the military and their families.
American expanded its global presence for Community Relations through several key community initiatives in Mexico, including building an indoor playground for a children’s hospital and an outdoor playground for an elementary school south of Mexico City, as well as rebuilding 19 emergency homes for families affected by earthquakes.
Military and Veterans Initiatives
The Medal of Honor Foundation honors U.S. military heroes. American supports the Foundation and provides U.S. Medal of Honor recipients with access to elite amenities when they fly. American is the official airline of National Medal of Honor Day and, each March, transports Medal of Honor recipients and their loved ones from New York City to Washington, D.C. American also partnered with the Congressional Medal of Honor Foundation to support its Character Development Program, which provides teachers and students curriculum that explores the important concepts of courage, commitment, sacrifice, patriotism, integrity and citizenship and how these values can be exemplified in daily life.
As the official airline partner of the Gary Sinise Foundation’s Snowball Express program, American transported more than 650 Gold Star families (1,722 individuals) from 80 cities worldwide this month via more than 100 chartered and commercial flights. American’s 12 charter flights, all crewed by volunteer flight attendants and pilots, arrived at Orlando International Airport (MCO) from every corner of the country. During their five-day trip, families not only visited Walt Disney World, they also experienced inspirational programs that provided them critical peer-to-peer support.
Learn more about American Airlines community giving at aa.com/letgoodtakeflight.
About American Airlines Group
American Airlines and American Eagle offer an average of nearly 6,700 flights per day to nearly 350 destinations in more than 50 countries. American has hubs in Charlotte, Chicago, Dallas-Fort Worth, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Philadelphia, Phoenix and Washington, D.C. American is a founding member of the oneworld® alliance, whose members and members-elect serve nearly 1,000 destinations with 14,250 daily flights to 150 countries. Shares of American Airlines Group Inc. trade on Nasdaq under the ticker symbol AAL. In 2015, its stock joined the S&P 500 index. Connect with American on Twitter @AmericanAir and at Facebook.com/AmericanAirlines.
A photo accompanying this announcement is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/8e7489d5-ef5d-485a-93d9-6c71475e3497.