ATLANTA, Oct. 29, 2007 – More than 40 Delta Air Lines (NYSE: DAL) employees and, for the first time, six customers will partner with Habitat for Humanity to help build six homes with families in the village of Nagewadi, Karjat outside of Mumbai during a weeklong trip to the region in November. With this project, Delta’s Force for Global Good – a program that unites employees and customers who invest their personal time and money to support philanthropic efforts throughout the world – is helping take a stand against poverty housing by volunteering with Habitat for Humanity in India to help families in need of safe, decent, affordable housing realize the dream of home ownership. Additionally, Delta’s corporate contribution of $100,000 and the help of other community partners will build 100 more homes in the state of Maharashtra throughout the following year.
Delta volunteers will be joined by customers who have the opportunity to travel to India and be part of this humanitarian project by bidding their Delta SkyMiles® in an online auction. Three SkyMiles members bid more than 118,000 miles each, which will be donated to Habitat for Humanity, and won a voluntourism package for two that includes:
- round-trip Coach Class tickets to Mumbai
- seven-night accommodations,
- all meals,
- transportation within India,
- and the chance to roll up their sleeves and work side-by-side with Delta volunteers to help people in India.
“Delta’s Force for Global Good establishes meaningful partnerships worldwide that promote our mission of helping create positive change,” said Ed Bastian, Delta’s president and chief financial officer. “Thanks to the passion of our employees, Delta has a rich heritage of giving back to the communities we serve. Through our work with Habitat for Humanity, we not only improve the quality of life for others through home ownership, but also enrich our own lives and the lives of our customers through the spirit of giving.”
“Habitat for Humanity is grateful for the partnership of Delta and its caring employees,” said Peter Selvarajan, CEO of Habitat for Humanity India. “Delta’s Force for Global Good puts the airline’s words into action in a way that changes lives for the better, here in India and on a global scale.”
The Delta build, which commemorates Delta’s 15-year anniversary of serving Mumbai and first anniversary of nonstop service from New York’s JFK, is an important contribution to Habitat for Humanity India’s ambitious IndiaBUILDS campaign, a five-year strategic initiative to serve 250,000 people across India with improved housing and related-sanitation, as well as mobilizing 1 million volunteers and raising capital toward this goal.
“To allow a customer to take part in the build, and knowing that in addition to physically working to help others our miles are being donated to a great organization like Habitat for Humanity is a fabulous idea,” said Kaysville, UT-based customer Tara Dryg. “Working with Habitat is one of the best ways I can think of for Delta to give back.'”
Delta launched its Habitat partnership in December 2006 when it unveiled a Delta Boeing 767-300 aircraft proudly featuring a unique Habitat for Humanity paint schematic and Delta’s Force for Global Good decal. Three Delta’s Force for Global Good builds have been held in Johannesburg, South Africa; Brooklyn, N.Y.; and Accra, Ghana. To date, Delta employees have donated more than 5,000 hours of service to Habitat through Delta’s Force for Global Good program.
Habitat for Humanity has been at work in India since 1983, building and renovating more than 17,200 homes, including 2,655 homes in tsunami-affected areas, making it one of the homebuilding organization’s largest country programs. In addition, Habitat for Humanity has assisted more than 5,000 families, as of September 2007, affected by the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami in a program that is set to continue for some considerable time.
Habitat for Humanity India uses a “Save & Build” housing microfinance concept to reach more communities in need. Under Save & Build, homeowner families (usually working in groups) save one-third of the cost of the house, with nongovernmental organizations or corporate partners and Habitat for Humanity investing the remaining. Future efforts will focus on self-help groups, with Habitat injecting funds proportionate to the group savings.
Habitat for Humanity International is an ecumenical Christian ministry that welcomes to its work all people dedicated to the cause of eliminating poverty housing. Since its founding in 1976, Habitat has built more than 250,000 houses worldwide, providing simple, decent and affordable shelter for more than 1 million people. For more information, visit www.habitat.org.
Delta Air Lines operates service to more worldwide destinations than any airline with Delta and Delta Connection flights to 310 destinations in 54 countries. Since 2005, Delta has added more international capacity than all other major U.S. airlines combined and is the leader across the Atlantic with flights to 36 trans-Atlantic markets. To Latin America and the Caribbean, Delta offers more than 400 weekly flights to 53 destinations. Delta's marketing alliances also allow customers to earn and redeem SkyMiles on nearly 15,000 flights offered by SkyTeam and other partners. Delta is a founding member of SkyTeam, a global airline alliance that provides customers with extensive worldwide destinations, flights and services. Including its SkyTeam and worldwide codeshare partners, Delta offers flights to 475 worldwide destinations in 104 countries. Customers can check in for flights, print boarding passes and check flight status at delta.com.