What is the target audience served?
Any individual and/or organization requiring distant transportation by air, but cannot afford the cost.
What is the history of the organization, including major accomplishments?
Angel Flight Central, Inc. was founded in August, 1995 with four volunteer pilots hoping to help a total of two passengers per month. By the end of the organization's 14th fiscal year AFC will have flown over 12,000 flights equaling over 7 million charitable miles. The Board of Trustees has kept the goal of founder, James Stevens, Jr. in focus: "We are simply about people helping people in need." As we head into the future, it will be the generosity of our volunteer pilots, donors and supporters that will enable us to "provide free flights for people in need".
What are the services available through Angel Flight Central?
Be it a child requiring medical treatment in another area of the country or an adult requiring travel due to a family crisis, Angel Flight Central attempts to match each special need with a volunteer pilots who can help. AFC offers free air transportation and timely help to thousands of families with financial hardships.
AFC is filling a critical gap in the health care support structure in our region, yet remains one of the area's best-kept secrets. We offer our passengers not only free air transportation, but hope. We offer our volunteer pilots not only organizational support for their flight, but an opportunity to experience firsthand how their generosity touches the people they transport. We offer the people who volunteer in our offices and "on the ground" the opportunity not only to help others, but also to grow personally through the gift of their time and talents. Our organization includes every age group from the infant passengers to retirees who support the mission screening and coordination team.
What are the outcomes and how does Angel Flight Central benefit the community?
1. Angel Flight Central improves, and frequently saves lives.
2. Our volunteer pilots provide access to distant specialized care.
3. The generosity of our entire group provides help and hope.
The unpredictability of life could put any of us in a position of need. AFC helps ordinary people in extraordinary circumstances. Accidents happen while traveling which leave victims with no remaining financial resources to return home. People in physically and emotionally harmful situations see no affordable way to escape to a safe haven. A dying family member may have no hope of experiencing the joy of their child's wedding in a distant city. And, most commonly, illnesses that are often terminal may require diagnosis or treatment from specialized facilities across the country. Some of our passengers who cannot benefit from treatment themselves will even travel long distances to undergo research treatments in hopes of helping future victims of their specific illness. In all of these situations, personal financial and insurance resources will only cover a portion of the costs associated with the illness and/or crisis. It is the mission of AFC to remove the financial burden of air transportation as an obstacle to receiving medical or compassionate care.
How is Angel Flight Central accountable to its donors and the community?
Our success is best measured by a patient who receives life-saving treatment; a cancer patient who participating in distant research to hopefully save the lives of others; a volunteer who takes time out of their holiday schedule with family and friends to help arrange a flight for a stranger; and, the many hugs, grateful tears and smiles of passengers and family members who are recovering from the physical and emotional challenges they've experienced. In our publications, we include some of the heart-warming stories our pilots share. We also publish the following information: number of flights, passengers, charitable miles, flight hours, flight value donated, pilot value donated, number of active pilots volunteering, number of flights linked with affiliate organizations nationwide, and donations received from individuals, corporations, foundations and religious organizations.
How does Angel Flight Central communicate its mission to various constituencies?
Speaker's Bureau presentations to local groups, organizations, foundations, corporations and churches; news releases and media coverage including television, newspaper and radio, printed materials including e-newsletters, general brochures and posters; personal contact via telephone, mailings emails to constituents and partners all contribute to our communication efforts.
Does Angel Flight Central use paid staff and volunteers?
AFC continues its advancement by fostering relationships with various partners throughout our ten States. To accomplish the aggressive goals of the organization set forth by the Board of Trustees, a full-time staff of five works out of our office at the Charles B. Wheeler Downtown Airport in Kansas City, M0.
Volunteers founded Angel Flight Central and we remain committed to volunteerism. Not only do our volunteer pilots allow us to exist, but also the active members of the Board of Directors, past passengers who now lend a hand and our large base of ground volunteers are essential to our successful mission. For the first two years, the work of the organization was entirely done by volunteer members of the Board. Even with the addition of paid staff, the Executive Committee remains involved with AFC's activities. All major decisions are discussed and approved by either the Executive Committee or entire Board.
Do donations to Angel Flight Central help accomplish targeted outcomes?
Thanks to successful grassroots funding, our passengers are never charged for their flight. AFC is a very cost effective service provider. For every cash contribution of $1, pilots donate approximately $3 in flight services. Our volunteer pilots donate all of the costs associated with each flight. The majority of the costs associated with the general operational budget, salaries, volunteer support, technology and flight screening/coordination are now funded by individual and corporate donations.
Therefore, foundations and grantors have the opportunity to help us not only with operations but to solve specific project challenges including awareness campaigns, large fund raising events, printed materials, local WINGS (grassroots volunteer chapters), development, etc. We report all results to our donors in the form of number of people helped or volunteers recruited or additional dollars raised due to the grant as accurately and specifically as feasible.
How does Angel Flight Central use technology to accomplish its mission and outcomes?
Technology is extremely important to our mission. AFC's website and access to the Internet allows us to communicate current and correct information with all of our passengers, pilots, volunteers, supporters and partner organizations. Before a person is approved for an "angel flight", our Flight Coordination Team require a third-party professional's verification of financial need and a signed medical approval form from the involved physician which states the passenger is able to fly in a small non-pressurized aircraft. Once a passenger is approved, a Flight Coordinator matches the passenger(s) with a volunteer pilot and aircraft. Then, the flight logistics and planning is completed, and all data related to the flight is entered into our Mission Database. AFC could not accomplish its mission without the technology of faxes, pagers, phones, computers and email.
"Always happy to help...It's the best flying I ever do."
Volunteer Pilot, Tom