I’m sure you’re aware that during the past two years, the airline industry has faced a litany of challenges unpreced-ented in our long history. We’ve had to make a lot of tough decisions to meet those challenges, and some of those decisions have had painful repercussions for our people. Under the circumstances, it would be understandable if the men and women of our company backed away, if only slightly, from their long tradition of giving back to the communities we serve. But I’m proud to say that our people’s generosity and spirit of service are stronger than ever.
A perfect example of our employees going above and beyond is the Something MAAgic Foundation, a grassroots organization created by American and American Eagle employees to support the Make-A-Wish Foundation of America®, which, as you probably know, is the largest wish-granting organization in the world. Make-A-Wish makes dreams come true for children with serious medical conditions. At American, we’re generous supporters of wish kids, having helped more than 19,000 of them since 1988. Moreover, the employee-led Something MAAgic Foundation has raised more than $350,000 to provide grants or enhancements for wishes of children in the U.S., Canada, Latin America, and Europe.
This month, Something MAAgic’s focus will be on Wish Flight, an annual event for which American flies a group of seriously ill children to Florida for a six-day stay at Give Kids The World Village — a 51-acre nonprofit resort — where they will stay with their families in their own specially equipped villa near Walt Disney World. We started the Wish Flight program eight years ago, and while it takes a lot of work to pull it off, the people of American and American Eagle have always been up to the challenge. In fact, last year more than 1,500 employees, friends, and sponsors volunteered to help bring much-needed joy to some special children.
Helping kids is also the goal behind our Miles For Kids In Need® program, which gives AAdvantage members a way to donate miles that provide travel to thousands of children who need medical care. Donations, which are augmented by American, are coordinated with the charitable efforts of several organizations devoted to helping sick children and their families. For more information on how you can donate miles to help children in need, please call (800) 421-0600 or visit www.aa.com/ milesforkids. You can find out more about Make-A-Wish at www.wish.org. And additional information about Give Kids The World can be found at www.gktw.org.
I am very proud of the commitments our people have made to help children in need. Their compassion is a reflection of the warm and caring attitude they bring to their work every day. Of course, our ability as a company to participate in such worthwhile endeavors ultimately stems from the fact that millions of people like you have honored us with their business. So on behalf of all of us at American and American Eagle, thank you for flying with us. We appreciate your business and, as always, we are working hard to deserve it.
GERARD J. ARPEY
President & CEO