A year of giving: Air Canada Foundation supports hundreds of Canadian families

A year of giving: Air Canada Foundation supports hundreds of Canadian families

MONTREAL — After an incredibly challenging year for so many, the Air Canada Foundation has doubled down on its commitment to help Canadian families in need.

In December alone, the Foundation raised over $135,000 (net) through an inaugural public online auction, along with over one million Aeroplan points through its annual Matching Campaign. The auction funds will be redistributed to Canadian registered charities that focus on the health and well-being of children and youth, while the Aeroplan points donated by Aeroplan and its members will go toward the Hospital Transportation Program to help connect sick children to the medical care they need away from home.

One such child is Arianne Monger, who this year has been named the Foundation’s 2020 Hero. A few years ago, Arianne was referred to the Montreal Children’s Hospital, which is located 11-12 hours by car from her home in Sept-Îles, Quebec. Since then, Arianne has been using the Air Canada Foundation Hospital Transportation Program to access the care she needs.

To learn more about the program click here.

It is through the generous donations made by Aeroplan, its members and all partners that allow kids like Arianne to thrive during difficult times.

Priscille Leblanc, Chair of the Air Canada Foundation, thanked all those who participated and pitched in this year.

“Despite the seemingly endless challenges of 2020, many individuals opened their physical and digital wallets to donate money and points to help make a positive difference in the lives of children and youth,” she said. “From the bottom of our hearts, we sincerely thank you for this generosity. It is with heartfelt gratitude that we also acknowledge all our partners, Air Canada employees and retirees, other donors and supporters in bringing these initiatives to life.”

In addition to the auction and Matching Campaign, over 300 Air Canada employees volunteered coast to coast this year to help local communities.

In Montreal, over 150 employees and their family members became Santa for a day, brightening the spirits of more than 200 children in need through the Quebec-based charity Opération Père Noël.

Employees in Toronto rallied to raise donations for Second Harvest’s ‘Turkey Drive’ to help nourish those who’ve been hit hard by the pandemic.

Vancouver-based employees, in collaboration with Covenant House Vancouver, assembled Christmas backpacks full of brand new gifts for youth experiencing homelessness.

And in New Brunswick, employees volunteered with the YMCA of Greater Saint John to sell Christmas trees, enabling the Y to raise funds for part of the ‘Strong Communities’ fund, ‘SJ Newcomer Center Scholarship’ fund and ‘Emergency Support’ fund.

Arielle Meloul-Wechsler, Executive Vice President, Chief Human Resources and Communications Officer at Air Canada, thanked employees for opening their hearts and going above and beyond to help others.

“I am grateful for their outstanding dedication and resilience, core values that reflect our strong culture,” she said. “We believe that our employees are our greatest asset, and their full participation in the communities we serve allows our airline to truly thrive.”

In addition to these recent achievements, key initiatives were undertaken throughout 2020. For example, Air Canada and the Air Canada Foundation initiated a food rescue effort across Canada, offering more than 570,000 kilograms of food from April to December, representing more than 1.2 million meals. In addition, Air Canada donated and diverted from landfill more than 80 banners to a Toronto-based community initiative producing 1,000 face coverings for Michael Garron Hospital, and in October, Air Canada Cargo and the Foundation brought Drone Delivery Canada (DDC), the Pontiac Group, GlobalMedic and generous donors together to implement DDC’s drone delivery solution for the Beausoleil First Nation Community in Ontario.

To donate or for more information about the Foundation’s programs, go to aircanada.com/foundation.