Categorized | Volunteering

Hawaiian pilots raise funds for Pacific disaster relief


Hawaiian Airlines pilots represented by the Air Line Pilots Association, Intl., (ALPA) stepped up to assist their neighbors in the Pacific, making a substantial cash donation over the weekend to the American Red Cross for disaster relief efforts.

The Hawaiian pilots contributed $15,000 to the Red Cross’ “Kokua for the Pacific” fundraiser at the Aloha Tower Marketplace in Honolulu. The Kokua for the Pacific event featured a host of musicians and other entertainers who raised money for disaster victims in American Samoa, Indonesia and the Philippines.

“Our pilots and many of our fellow employees have friends and family who live and work in these areas,  and we feel a definite connection with them,” said Capt. Eric Sampson, chairman of ALPA’s Hawaiian pilot group.

Earlier this year, the Hawaiian pilots donated nearly two tons of food to the Hawaii Food Bank, and recruited a team of pilot volunteers to help build a house in Waimanalo for Habitat for Humanity.

ALPA pilots will be serving food to the homeless at the River of Life Mission on Thanksgiving Day, and assisting the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve’s “Toys for Tots” campaign this Christmas.

“One of our union’s slogans is ‘We are ALPA.’ We are Pacific islanders too, and we are united in the common purpose of helping others, not just by flying people from island to island and to and from the mainland, but by reaching out with a helping hand when they need one,” Sampson said.

Founded in 1931, ALPA is the world’s largest pilot union, representing almost 53,000 pilots at 36 airlines in the United States and Canada, including more than 400 Hawaiian pilots.

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