The Season of Giving

The world has faced a challenging year, but individuals and communities—including ALPA pilots—are exploring inventive new ways to come together to give back. Many pilot-run nonprofits organize annual charitable drives for the holidays, and this year is no exception.

Delta's holiday tie and Piedmont's Christmas epaulets are just a couple examples of how ALPA members are spreading holiday cheer and raising money for their communities.

The Delta Pilots Charitable Fund Delta, for instance, is once again running its holiday tie fundraiser, this year in support of the Mary Bridge Children’s Hospital in Tacoma, Wash. Delta pilots are permitted to wear the ties with their uniforms through January 7. The Delta Pilots Charitable Fund promotes the health, education, and welfare of America’s most valuable resource—children.

At Piedmont, pilots are wearing special Christmas epaulets during the month of December, an annual tradition that started about eight years ago. Proceeds from the epaulet sales benefit the Chetek-Weyerhaeuser Scholarship Foundation, which was created in memory of Piedmont Capt. John Knutson whose wife hand-sewed the original Christmas epaulets, and also Snowball Express, a program that serves children of America’s fallen military heroes (also known as Gold Star families). In a 2019 Snowball Express outreach effort in Charlotte, N.C., Piedmont volunteers filled backpacks with goodies for Gold Star kids to enjoy on their way to Disney World.

And many ALPA pilots across the system are proud to participate in Pilots For Kids. This nonprofit organization’s primary activity is visiting with and distributing toys to hospitalized children—especially during the December holidays. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, most events have turned virtual for 2020. At the Washington-Dulles Pilots for Kids chapter, F/O Julie Callens is hosting a virtual fundraiser and will collect toys and gift card donations on behalf MedStar Georgetown University Hospital.

If you are an ALPA pilot planning or participating in a charitable drive this holiday season (or already completed one), tell us about it! Your content may be featured in our #ALPAholidays coverage in an upcoming issue of FastRead, on our website, or on our social media pages. Send your photos and some information about the event to

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