Categorized | Earthquake, Tsunami, Volunteering

Hawaiian Airlines pilots raise funds for Japanese disaster relief


$14,500 Donated to American Red Cross for Earthquake and Tsunami Relief

HONOLULU – Hawaiian Airlines members of the Air Line Pilots Association, Int’l. (ALPA) have donated $14,500 to assist victims of earthquake and tsunami disasters in Japan, the latest outpouring of charity from a pilot group with special ties to Asia.

Individual pilots donated $9,500, with ALPA’s Hawaiian Airlines Master Executive Council (MEC) donating an additional $5,000. HAL Capt. Rick Baldwin of Honolulu presented the contribution to the Hawaii State Chapter of the American Red Cross.

“Most of us at Hawaiian Airlines have some sort of link to Japan, whether by marriage, work or just by the incredible Japanese presence amongst the people and culture here in Hawaii,” said Baldwin, who organized the fundraising effort in just two weeks. “We all wanted to do something to help out, not only financially but to let the people who are suffering in Japan know that Hawaiian pilots are thinking of them and want to help.”

The donation is the latest charitable outreach by the pilot group’s newly-organized Community Affairs Committee, created last year to perform community service and humanitarian work in the Islands and elsewhere in Asia. In recent years the Hawaiian pilots have donated volunteer time, cash, gifts and other items to orphanages, food pantries, homeless shelters, elementary schools, cancer charities, children’s hospitals, Habitat for Humanity and the Red Cross, including a $15,000 donation in 2009 for typhoon victims in the Philippines and Indonesia.

“As residents of the unstable ‘Ring of Fire’ in the Pacific, we know earthquakes, tsunamis and typhoons are a constant threat,” Baldwin said. “I have always been proud to be a Hawaiian Airlines pilot, but today I feel a special pride and gratitude for the way Hawaiian pilots and our MEC are always ready to step up and help, whether in response to a natural disaster or just to improve ordinary life here in Hawaii.”

Founded in 1931, ALPA is the world’s largest pilot union, representing nearly 53,000 pilots at 38 airlines in the United States and Canada. Visit the ALPA website at

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