Have you ever wondered what happens to the money we collect onboard our planes for charity? Well, part of my job is to be the central point for all that money donated. I’ve been in the business for about six and a half years, but it’s only during the past seven months I’ve been wearing my charity hat. And I can truly say, it really is so rewarding knowing that what I’m doing is helping to change so many lives.
So, let me start with a few numbers for you. With an average of 28,000 flights a year, 17 different bases and approximately 3000 crew, it all takes a serious bit of planning and organisation to get the collections in place. But I can assure you, it’s a labour of love – let me tell you why.
First things first – who are our charities? Thomson Airways has two main charity partners, but did you know that the money we collect onboard actually goes to three different charities?
50% of your donation will go to the Family Holiday Association, a small charity set up 35 years ago. The Family Holiday Association is the only charity in the UK that specialises in helping to provide holidays for families and children in dire need of a break due to circumstances like abuse, violence, bereavement and illness.
With the help of the onboard donations, the Family Holiday Association has been able to purchase caravans, each one helping over 52 families a year. And just last month, one of the local charities contacted me to say they had reached their target with the onboard collections. Because of this a little girl has now able to get a life saving operation.
Another 25% of your donation will go to the Born Free Foundation, a charity founded in 1984. Born Free is dedicated to individual wild animal welfare and conservation and they work hard to prevent animal suffering, protect threatened species and keep wildlife in the wild.
I get regular updates from Born Free about animals that are in a much better place thanks to the generosity of our customers. So as you can imagine, hearing all these stories makes all the running around, ensuring every flight has a collection onboard, all the more worthwhile.
The final 25% goes to a local charity that has been voted for by the cabin crew. It’s always a cause that is very close to their hearts, and also means that wherever you fly from in the UK, you know that some of the money will be donated to a good cause in that area.
Thomson Airways accept all currencies. In fact, in the past, someone even placed some solid gold coins in the collection bags. And they were valued at around £2,000 each! That being said, every donation, big or small, really does help. Last year alone, thanks to the generosity of our customers onboard our flights, we managed to raise over £600,000. This really does go a long way to help all the causes we support.
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Author: Alex Riccardi
Published: March 29, 2012
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