Spreading Holiday Cheer on Land, Sea, and Air

Airline pilots work hard year-round to safely deliver passengers and cargo to their destinations, and during the exceptionally busy holiday travel season, many ALPA pilots also go the extra mile to give back to their communities.

ExpressJet Pilots Celebrate the Season with Christmas Toy Drive

Pictured from left to right: F/O Phil Taylor, (SWA, former XJT captain), F/O Beth O'Malley (XJT), Capt. Deb Sodolak (XJT), and Capt. Craig Sodolak (XJT) ready to deliver a boatful of toys.

Capt. Deb Sodolak (XJT) recently coordinated a toy drive for underprivileged children along the Texas Gulf Coast. ExpressJet pilots donated dozens of toys, which were delivered as part of a caravan of 38 boats carrying toys from several other local groups. Special thanks to the XJT pilots whose generous donations will spread joy and cheer this holiday season through the Angel Tree Organization.

Pilots for Kids Delivers

Volunteers from the Washington-D.C. chapter of Pilot For Kids visited Inova Fairfax Hospital in Falls Church, Va., on December 4 to share more than a little holiday spirit with hospitalized children. Local airline pilots and flight attendants distributed presents and chatted with patients and their families.

Pilots For Kids volunteers visiting children at Inova Fairfax Hospital in Virginia last week. View more photos.

Pilots For Kids is an international organization dedicated to helping hospitalized children. Founded in 1983 by airline crewmembers, the nonprofit organization's primary activity is visiting children's hospitals and delivering toys and other needed items. Pilots for Kids has chapters across the United States and Canada.

30th Annual Fantasy Flight from MSP to the North Pole


On December 7, several volunteers—including Delta pilots, flight attendants, and others—gave foster kids and families from the Minnesota Children’s Home Society and Lutheran Social Services a truly special experience with the 30th annual Pilots For Kids Fantasy Flight to the North Pole.

More than 200 foster kids and families came to Minneapolis–Saint Paul International Airport for great food, games, and entertainment, including appearances by local sports mascots such as Goldy Gopher (Minnesota Gophers), Viktor the Viking (Minnesota Vikings), and T.C. Bear (Minnesota Twins). Other festive activities included face painting, beading, a candy fishing booth, and hands-on science activities presented by the Science Museum of Minnesota, as well as a cryogenics demonstration by the 3M Visiting Wizards.

The highlight of the day, however, was when guests boarded a Delta aircraft for a “flight” to the North Pole, which took them on a trip around the airport before arriving back at the gate about 45 minutes later to find the area had been magically transformed into the North Pole. Santa himself was waiting to greet them.

This wonderful day helped not only the guests but also volunteers embrace and get into the true holiday spirit.

How Are You Giving Back This Season?

If you’re an ALPA member with a story to share, send it to us at SocialMedia@alpa.org, and your content could be featured on our social media or in a future ALPA publication!

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