Release HAL 10-03
December 20, 2010

Hawaiian Pilots Spread Cheer to Sick Children Over the Holidays

HONOLULU – The union pilots of Hawaiian Airlines are reaching out once again to spread aloha to sick children this holiday season, contributing money, buying gifts, and helping island families reconnect at Christmastime.

Hawaiian Airlines pilots represented by the Air Line Pilots Association, Int’l, (ALPA) celebrated the remarkable success of their 2010 toy drive and fund-raiser for the HUGS (Help, Understanding & Group Support) program and Kapi’olani Medical Center for Women and Children by delivering gifts to children at the HUGS Christmas party on December 18.

“Thanks to the generosity of the pilots and flight attendants we’ve collected more than 150 Santa Gift Wishes and $3,125 in cash for seriously ill children and their family members, both on the neighbor islands and Oahu,” said Capt. Donald Del Carmen, chairman of the Hawaiian pilots’ Community Service Committee.

Among the Christmas gift wishes for the hospital and HUGS were video game consoles, a 19-inch flat-screen television, and 12 personal DVD players, many intended for patients in the isolation ward. The majority of the children helped by the pilots are cancer patients with families financially burdened by medical debt.

In addition to the HUGS Christmas Party, HAL pilots will be catering a Christmas dinner at the Ronald McDonald House on Christmas Day for families whose children are in the hospital or at the home itself. Pilots are also donating their unused flight passes to neighbor island families who would otherwise be unable to afford airfare to visit sick loved ones on Oahu over the holidays.

The ALPA pilots at Hawaiian formed their Community Service Committee last year to provide financial and volunteer support to charities throughout the islands. As well as supporting the HUGS program, Hawaiian pilots have contributed time and money to Habitat for Humanity, the American Red Cross, the Hawaii Food Bank, the River of Life homeless shelter, the Ho'omalu O Na Kamali'i children’s shelter, Oahu-area schools, and an orphanage in the Philippines.

“We feel we have been blessed by this community, and in return we wish to return those blessings many times over to those who need it most. We hope to set an example that the greatest gift one can give is to serve others,” Capt. Del Carmen said.

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Capt. Don Del Carmen 808-561-7300
Capt. Jeff Jones 808-673-0071