Last week, Air Canada and Dreams Take Flight returned to the skies for the first time since 2020 with a plane load of children from Winnipeg to Florida to experience a trip-of-a-lifetime.
The exclusive flights benefit children experiencing mental, physical or social adversity and take place thanks to generous volunteers, many Air Canada employees and retirees, the support of the Air Canada Foundation and the work by the Dreams Take Flight organization.
Eight flights for 2023
Eight flights are planned to operate this year, making dreams come true for an estimated 1000 children with an unforgettable day at a theme park in Florida or California.
The flight from Winnipeg left in the early hours of the morning of April 12 and transported 110 kids to Orlando, accompanied by a crew of Air Canada employee volunteers focused on creating the most magical experience possible.
By generously donating their time, pilots, flight attendants, maintenance engineers, and numerous other employees on the ground and behind the scenes offer children facing mental, physical, or social adversity the chance to take a break from their everyday to make memories and see new possibilities.
“These are children, who would likely never be able to take this trip if it were not for our program and the planes, would never get off the ground if it were not for our main sponsors and donors, like the Air Canada Foundation”, said Bev Watson, President of Dreams Take Flight Canada.
“Volunteers from Air Canada, family and friends, as well as the general public spend countless hours to ensure everything is done in preparation for each flight.”
“As a Foundation focused on the health and well-being of children, it is a privilege to work alongside Dreams Take Flight and Air Canada employees to help make this very special experience a reality for these children, letting them be kids for the day,” said Valerie Durand, Spokesperson for the Air Canada Foundation.
“A heartfelt thank you to each and every volunteer and supporter who helps makes this experience possible.”
Seven further flights will take place from Halifax, Toronto, Edmonton, Vancouver, Calgary, Montreal and Ottawa throughout 2023.
Over the past 30 years, Air Canada, as exclusive carrier and now through the Air Canada Foundation, has flown more than forty thousand children on Dreams Take Flight trips.
About Dreams Take Flight
Dreams Take Flight is a national non-profit organization dedicated to providing the trip of a lifetime to children who may be physically, mentally or socially challenged.
The operation is a primarily made up of current and retired Air Canada employees and retirees who volunteer to make these flights a reality.
With the aid of Air Canada, the Air Canada Foundation and other national and local organizations and businesses, money is raised to fund the program.
Funds not required for its primary purpose can be gifted by Dreams Take Flight to other registered charities that benefit physically, mentally or socially challenged children and are within the policies adopted by Dreams Take Flight Canada.
The first Dreams Take Flight station was founded in Toronto in 1989. Since then, the organization has taken over 40,000 special children to Florida and California.
You can visit their website to donate or volunteer.
About the Air Canada Foundation
The Air Canada Foundation, a not-for-profit organization focused on the health and well-being of children and youth, was launched in 2012.
It offers both financial and in-kind support to Canadian-registered charities. Core programs include the Hospital Transportation Program, which redistributes Aeroplan points to 15 pediatric hospitals across Canada, enabling sick children to access the medical care they need away from home.
The Air Canada Foundation, in collaboration with the airline, also engages directly in fundraising activities, such as the Every Bit Counts program.
The program encourages customers to donate loose change of all denominations on board flights or through collection containers available in Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounges.
The Foundation also offers continued support to major health-related causes that benefit Canadians and is an active participant in international humanitarian relief activity as the need arises.