As Delta paid out more than $1 billion in profit sharing, the second largest in its history, the company's celebrations at the Delta Flight Museum were capped by a renewed commitment to giving back to local communities in The Great Delta Give-Back.
Starting April 1, Delta employees will be paid when they volunteer with a 501(c)(3) or equivalent international nonprofit organization of their choice.
"While we celebrate our rewards with each other, we want to celebrate the community's role in making it happen," Ed said to more than 1,000 attendees and countless SkyHub viewers. "We instituted the '1 percent' program a few years ago, which pledges one percent of Delta's profit back to the community each year. But we can do more. It's our hearts, minds, hands and individual commitment that really make a difference."
Joanne encouraged all Delta people to record their 640,000+ volunteer hours on thegreatdeltagiveback.com.
"We know you're already giving back to your communities," she said. "The Great Delta Give-Back is an opportunity to amplify your service and give a little more by providing that day of pay for each of you."
Community partner Jack Harris, President and CEO of the nonprofit 3DE Schools which is redesigning the high school education model to unlock students' potential, took the stage with Ed for a conversation on the impact of volunteer service.
"Delta sets a mark above others in so many ways when it comes to investing back into the community," Harris said. "But there's nothing like the human-to-human connection and relationships that come from volunteers."
Following the speakers, employees attended a community partner fair featuring organizations from Delta's key focus areas, like education, health and wellness, military and veterans, and sustainability, to get inspired and plan their day of service.
Paige B., General Manager of Corporate Tax, volunteers with the Atlanta Children's Shelter and the Decatur Education Foundation. She attended Ed's announcement and said she looks forward to using her day of service for a new organization with a group of colleagues.
"I think it's extremely smart, forward-thinking and generous," she said. "Our communities support our lives, our families, our children and our friends. I love that this is an opportunity to expand not just the gift to the employees, but to the communities that we live in."