Crewmembers Deliver Much-Needed Supplies and Medication, Provide Local Schools and Orphanages With More Than 2,000 Books and Laptops
NEW YORK, NY -- (Marketwired) -- 04/18/14 --
JetBlue Airways (NASDAQ: JBLU) brought its "Inspiring Humanity" mission to life on April 16 and 17 with a crewmember-led humanitarian effort to Haiti.
Port-au-Prince, Haiti, became JetBlue's 82nd BlueCity in December 2013. Before launch it was decided the airline would carry out a humanitarian delivery flight in partnership with the Airbus Corporate Foundation to bring aid to the country, including life-saving anti-cholera medication, blankets and clothing for nearly 6,000 children, hundreds of pair of shoes, thousands of books to help improve literacy, laptops, toiletries and more. Additionally, the JetBlue contingent also made the first dig for a modernized fresh water well in what will become a new village for Haitians still displaced following the 2010 earthquake. Haiti remains the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere and continues to be deeply affected by the earthquake. The cholera outbreak following the earthquake is the worst epidemic of this disease in recent times, having caused more than 9,000 deaths and with 700,000 residents currently sick.
JetBlue provided several tons of resources to local schools and orphanages in and near Port-au-Prince. The group visited and delivered supplies to charities that have previously been supported by crewmembers, including Ecole Herve Romain, a school in Port-au-Prince's red zone run by charity organization Edeyo Foundation; Children of Hope, a children's home in Saintard, north of Port-au-Prince and Grace International, one of Haiti's largest non-profit organizations that runs numerous schools, displacement camps, girls and boys orphanages, a widows home and hospital. The airline provided donations, including more than 2,000 books, toiletries and laptops, which were handed out by a team of 15 front-line crewmembers. The crewmembers also broke ground on a new well for fresh drinking water for Grace International in Carrefour. This area is currently under development, building an entire new village that will house tens of thousands of people still displaced from the earthquake.
"I volunteered at Grace International and visited its Lambi Village refugee camp several times on service missions. JetBlue heard of my experiences and decided to partner with the agency to provide relief to residents still impacted by the earthquake. It was so heartwarming to see our crewmembers break ground on the site where a water well will be built. This well will provide fresh water not only to the future residents of the village, but also the local community impacting thousands of Haitians," said LaToya Ingram, manager of talent management, JetBlue Airways.
Allison Miguel, general manager of JetBlue's Savannah/Hilton Head operation, has also volunteered extensively in Haiti. "Children of Hope is very near and dear to my heart. I helped set up our operation in Haiti prior to launch and spent every free minute I had with these children. I look forward to being a part of their lives for as long as possible. I'm so proud to work for a company that is providing much needed resources to Haitian children and supports causes that are important to me and fellow crewmembers."
As education is a core pillar of JetBlue's corporate social responsibility platform, JetBlue also donated 2,000 books in English and Haitian Creole to local schools and children's homes. Additionally, JetBlue inflight crewmember Victoria Lauture shared a collection of books written by her mother, author Mireille B. Lauture Ph.D, featuring stories passed down from her 93-year-old grandmother who is known for her descriptive storytelling. These five books, written in Haitian Creole and English on the same page, were donated by Mirelle and will help encourage literacy in Haiti. Victoria and Mireille joined the team to deliver these bi-lingual books to local children. JetBlue also donated laptops with one year of internet service generously provided by Digicel.
With a new Airbus A321 aircraft scheduled for delivery on April 17, JetBlue took this opportunity to use the plane to support the ongoing commitment of crewmembers to help in Haiti's revitalization efforts. JetBlue partnered with the Airbus Corporate Foundation, Wings of Help (Luftfahrt ohne Grenzen) and KPMG to fill this aircraft with several tons of supplies specially earmarked for International Medical Corp for this relief effort. Wings of Help sourced life-saving anti-cholera medication, blankets, bed sheets, shoes, t-shirts and children's toys. The plane was then routed to fly from the Airbus factory in Hamburg, Germany, to Port-au-Prince, Haiti before heading to the JetBlue Hangar in Orlando, Fla. For more about Wings of Help/Luftfahrt ohne Grenzen, please visit www.luftfahrtohnegrenzen.eu/en.
"This is a live example of corporate citizenship in action, truly neighbors helping neighbors," said Icema Gibbs, director of corporate social responsibility, JetBlue Airways. "For this relief effort, we utilized the airline's two most important assets -- our people and our aircraft. We rallied together with Wings of Help and other business partners to donate supplies and materials and our crewmembers gave their personal time to provide service directly to one of our communities that is most in need of resources."
JetBlue will continue to support Haiti and rebuilding efforts by providing a donation of $10,000 to relief organizations, including Grace International and Edeyo Foundation. The airline encourages customers who want to help to visit www.Edeyo.org or www.GraceIntl.org to join us in donating to these worthy causes.
JetBlue believes it has a corporate responsibility to providing excellent service both on the air and on the ground. As a responsible corporate citizen, JetBlue works with a variety of nonprofit partners to make a difference in the communities it serves. This commitment to inspire humanity is how the airline conducts business every day. JetBlue works hand-in-hand with local, national and global organizations, connecting communities within its areas of commitment: youth and education; community and the environment.
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About JetBlue Airways
JetBlue is New York's Hometown Airline™ and a leading carrier in Boston, Fort Lauderdale/ Hollywood, Los Angeles (Long Beach), Orlando and San Juan. JetBlue carries 30 million customers a year to 85 cities in the U.S., Caribbean and Latin America, with an average of 825 daily flights. JetBlue was the first U.S. airline to allow customers to use their personal electronic devices throughout all domestic flights. With JetBlue, all seats are assigned, all fares are one-way, and an overnight stay is never required. For more information please visit JetBlue.com.
JetBlue Airways recently brought its inspiring humanity mission to life with a crewmember-led humanitarian effort, including using its fresh-from-the factory Airbus A321aircraft to deliver several tons of supplies to Haiti. A team of 15 crewmembers delivered resources, including life-saving anti-cholera medication, blankets, clothing for nearly 6,000 children, hundreds of pairs of shoes, 2,000 books and more. (Photos courtesy of JetBlue Airways)
1. (l to r) At Toussaint Louverture International Airport in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, JetBlue crewmembers Allison Miguel and Jessica Banchs helped unload supplies from the airline's new Airbus A321 aircraft for donation to local schools and orphanages.
2. (l to r) Chad Meyerson, director, Latin America and Caribbean, JetBlue; Elsy Viala, general manager of JetBlue's Port-au-Prince operation; Bishop Joel Jeune, founder, Grace International and Icema Gibbs, director, corporate social responsibility, JetBlue, break ground on a new, modernized fresh water well in a new village currently under development in Carrefour being built for Haitians still displaced following the 2010 earthquake.
3. Author Dr. Mireille B. Lauture reads to students at Edeyo Foundation's Ecole Herve Romain located in Port-au-Prince's red zone.
4. A team of JetBlue crewmembers pitch in to unload several tons of resources earmarked for schools and orphanages in and near Port-au-Prince.
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