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Caring Crew gives old uniforms new life at orphanage

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When an orphanage in Peru needed renovations, Delta’s sustainability team decided to transform old Delta uniforms into library rugs to provide 800 children with a comfortable place to read and learn.

This project is latest effort from Delta’s Caring Crew, a nonprofit committed to supporting sustainable growth of The Community of Children of The Sagrada Familia orphanage in Peru. Previously, the nonprofit installed water filtration systems at the orphanage and provided much needed education supplies.

“What started as just a few flight attendants giving back on their layovers has turned into a passion point for Delta people,” Delta Flight Attendant and Caring Crew President Laura De Alonso said. “Since this initiative started in 2009, more than 700 Delta employees have made the trip to the orphanage about an hour’s drive outside of Lima, Peru. These rugs are just another example of how Delta supports these children and their education.”

The orphanage’s library was in desperate need of renovation. But, it wasn’t just Delta that signed on to help – the senior class at Sagrada Familia spearheaded the project, saying they hoped to leave a legacy for the younger students by giving them a refreshed, safe and comfortable place to learn. Cleaning, updating and organizing started immediately.

Stephanie Zhu, Manager - Climate Strategy, from Delta’s Sustainability team suggested livening the place up with a few special rugs.

“My team takes pieces of Delta history, old seat covers, uniforms or even safety jackets and upcycles the items into bags, rugs and really whatever creative idea our suppliers come up with,” said Zhu.

Delta works with re:loom in Decatur, GA  and New Ventures in LaGrange, GA to create these products. Both organizations employ local homeless people and people with disabilities or other personal constraints.

“re:loom is known for making amazing rugs and that’s just what the library needed,” said Zhu. “We collected old uniforms from In-Flight, Airport Customer Service, TechOps and Flight Ops, cut them into strips and then our friends at re:loom wove the items into three beautiful rugs for the library.”

Caring Crew delivered the rugs in December at their annual Christmas party and the updated library was complete, giving the children a special place to read and learn, equipped with a little piece of Delta history.

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