When I moved to Atlanta six years ago, I never realized how closely my travel, work, and philanthropy would intersect. I work for United Way of Greater Atlanta, home to Delta Air Lines and the busiest airport in the world. Through my work I’m fortunate to work shoulder-to-shoulder with Delta employees to tackle some of our city’s most pressing problems.
Their employees engage with us through volunteerism, annual giving, special event fundraisers, and an amazing SkyMiles promotion, which awards bonus miles to individuals who contribute to United Way. What’s extra-special about this partnership is that it doesn’t just help to create fun, meaningful, engagement opportunities for Delta employees, but it also creates community impact.
Delta Air Lines and United Way believe in lifting up communities by empowering individuals and families to thrive. This means connecting individuals with a medical home so they can stay healthy and productive; providing educational supports to children so they can graduate high school and college ready for careers; removing barriers to employment and financial stability so families can meet their needs; and ending homelessness across our city.
In Atlanta, nearly half a million children live in communities with low or very low child well-being. United Way of Greater Atlanta is addressing this by focusing on ensuring every child has an opportunity to reach his or her full potential. We and our nonprofit, government and business partners work to improve the living situations for children and their families. Pack the Plane is Delta’s signature United Way volunteer project. It’s a huge collective effort in which their employees stuff hundreds of brand new backpacks with school supplies to benefit a local elementary school where students are in need. Last year, they stuffed 360 backpacks for the school. Always wanting to reach higher and do better, this year they wanted a backpack on every desk, for each of the school’s 525 students. On the first day of school, the look on the faces of the students was priceless.
If you’re reading this, you probably already know that our friends and neighbors need us—not just at the beginning of the school year, or around the holidays, but all year long. For those of us fortunate enough to be making holiday travel plans, we have an opportunity to create community impact while scheduling our flights. Learn more about how you can be part of positive change, and be rewarded.