In response to winter storm Ulmer, Delta Air Lines is contributing $100,000 to the American Red Cross to aid in flooding relief for Midwest communities such as Nebraska. The funding will provide shelter, food and clean-up support to people in the region.
The historic storm has brought blizzard conditions, flash flooding and a cyclone to the region. Water continues to rise as threatening flooding persists in Missouri and Mississippi rivers areas, closing roads, isolating communities and breaching levees.
“Our commitment to global communities means lending a hand to our employees and customers when they need it most,” said Tad Hutcheson, Managing Director – Community Engagement. “We also recognize the strength in partnerships, providing support for organizations like the American Red Cross to aid in disaster relief year-round.”
The contribution is in addition to the $1 million grant Delta provides the American Red Cross as an Annual Disaster Giving Program partner. The American Red Cross is Delta’s longest-standing nonprofit partner, allowing the airline, its employees and customers to help people in need for almost 80 years. Delta employees also participate in blood drives throughout the year, making Delta the largest corporate sponsor of American Red Cross blood drives with over 11,000 pints donated in 2018. The American Red Cross is the U.S.’ premier provider of disaster relief, blood, health and safety services. The organization provides 24-hour support to members of the military, veterans and their families at home and around the world, and trains millions of people in first aid, water safety and other lifesaving skills.
Pilot lends his wings
As Delta rushed to help, First Officer Adam Liston of Endeavor Air, a Delta Connection carrier, responded to the call. Liston was away from his small Nebraska community when record flooding forced his wife and two children to evacuate. Sunday morning, Liston began to ferry supplies and stranded neighbors to and from their hometown.
“As soon as I landed my plane, I would be surrounded by volunteers [to empty] the supplies,” Liston shared. “I was just happy to help those families that were separated and [bring] the daily things we take for granted. It was a lot of people's first flight, and they will never forget.”
Liston airlifted about 40 people, thanks to a crowdfunding campaign launched with the help of his wife, Mandi. His grassroots efforts were included in CNN’s relief coverage Tuesday.
“We are proud of the heroic spirit we see in Adam and all across the Midwest, showing that close connections are stronger than the weight of a crisis,” said David Garrison, Senior Vice President – Delta Connection.
How to help
Customers can donate to disaster relief through a dedicated microsite here. Additionally, customers can to donate to the American Red Cross through SkyWish, the charitable arm of Delta's SkyMiles frequent flyer program. It allows Delta and its SkyMiles members to donate miles to charitable organizations worldwide.