As 2013 draws to a close, AFW can take pride in knowing that we have once again positively impacted hundreds of lives and perhaps saved a few. Giving back by doing something we are passionate about like aviation is a special blessing, and this opportunity is truly something for which we can be thankful.
As a leading volunteer pilot organization, we work closely with other public benefit flying organizations and especially other Angel Flights. After launching AFIDS 2.0 in October of 2012, we offered it free to other organizations. A user group was formed and today nine organizations are participating in AFIDS’ ongoing improvement. This is contributing to enhanced communication between the groups, which in turn, means helping more people. We can be thankful for this ongoing co-operation.
What we do wouldn’t be possible without our dedicated staff, consultants, and Board of Directors, but especially the hundreds of volunteer pilots throughout our thirteen states. They represent a level of kindness and generosity that speaks to the best in all of us. In the almost twenty years of involvement with AFW, I am constantly amazed and humbled by their selfless generosity. Many times over I hear pilots say that they get back more from their passengers then they give themselves. The spirit and positive attitudes of our passengers is nothing short of inspiring.
It’s not only our pilot volunteers that make us successful, but all our volunteers–our Ground Angels (non-pilot volunteers) and our Earth Angels (those who volunteer to drive our passengers to and from their appointments and sometimes called Auto Pilots). We are thankful for all of them, and it’s this team effort that sets AFW apart.
We are thankful for our hundreds of patrons–the individuals, corporations, and foundations that support AFW financially. It takes close to 1.3 million dollars a year to arrange the missions, recruit the pilots, and do the outreach to publicize our mission and to cover the overhead of the office. Without the financial support of our patrons we wouldn’t be able arrange free air transportation to those in need.
What we do is unique as a non-profit. We utilize a resource called general aviation, and along with our commercial airline partners dramatically and positively impact thousands of lives.
As the year draws to a close, I want to personally thank all those who make our mission possible. It’s a privilege to be AFW’s Executive Director.
Blue Skies and Tailwinds,