Harvey & Irma Relief Efforts Continue - United Hub
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Harvey, Irma & Maria relief efforts continue

By The Hub team , September 22, 2017

Relief efforts continue as we work to support those affected by Hurricanes Irma and Maria, as well as by the historic flooding in Texas and the Gulf Coast in the wake of Tropical Storm Harvey. Thanks to generous donations from our customers, employees and MileagePlus members, our CrowdRise fundraising campaign has raised a total of more than $3 million to support our humanitarian aid and disaster relief partners: Airlink, the American Red Cross, Americares, Operation USA, the Greater Houston Community Foundation and the Humane Society International. We're partnering with Chase Card Services to provide additional bonus miles to members who donate to the organizations and United will match the $300,000 for efforts raised for both Tropical Storm Harvey and Hurricanes Irma & Maria relief efforts. So far we've committed over 7 million bonus miles to give to our customers who make donations.

Our fundraising efforts are just one way we are pitching in to aid those impacted by these natural disasters. Since August 27, we've operated five humanitarian flights from Chicago O'Hare Airport to Houston Intercontinental Airport and operated two additional flights through Thursday, August 31. The planes have been loaded with food, water, amenities (blankets and pillows) and medical supplies valued at more than $295,000. In addition, thanks to donations from Walgreens, we were also able to transport essential items and medical supplies.

We also flew relief flights for those affected by Hurricane Irma. With the help of MillerCoors, a total of 35,484 cans of water were delivered to impacted airports and we are prepared to deliver an additional 74,880 cans of water to areas in need throughout this week. In addition to relief flights, on Sunday, September 10, we flew an extra flight from San Juan Airport to Newark Liberty International Airport with 179 customers, who were initially brought to Puerto Rico via military rescue from islands throughout the Caribbean. As the effects of Hurricane Irma continue, we will be working closely with all local and federal officials throughout Florida to support critical efforts and recovery operations.

All relief supplies delivered will be allocated to employees and customers at Houston Intercontinental Airport as well as at the Houston Convention Center. We've coordinated and covered the costs of transporting relief items from Houston Intercontinental to the Houston Convention Center, and also donated our hangar at Houston Intercontinental to FEMA for 90 days, so they can use it for military and law enforcement operations as well as other relief coordination needs.

Additionally, our Hurricane Irma fundraising campaign includes accepting donations to help Humane Society International as they rescue animals across the Caribbean most impacted by her path. In collaboration with our United PetSafe program, we made a $25,000 donation to the Humane Society of the U.S. to support relief efforts for animals impacted by the storm in Texas. To further help free up space at shelters in Houston for animals being rescued off of the streets, over September 11 and September 12, we will begin flying a total of 40 shelter animals out of Houston and into our other hub airports across the U.S.

Read more about all of our charitable partners below:

American Red Cross American Red Cross goes wherever they're needed so people can have clean water, safe shelter and hot meals when they need them most. Donations received will provide critical aid to those affected by Hurricane Irma.

Airlink A rapid-response humanitarian relief organization that coordinates and provides air transportation for relief workers and aid supplies from 70 pre-qualified nonprofits.

Greater Houston Community Foundation After receiving an overwhelming number of inquiries from citizens and companies who want to help, Mayor Sylvester Turner has established a relief fund that will accept tax-deductible flood relief donations for victims that have been affected by the recent floods. The fund will be housed at the Greater Houston Community Foundation, a 501(c)(3) public charity.

Americares Americares emergency response team is on the ground in Florida addressing changing needs and ensuring that critical medicines and supplies reach the people affected. In particular, the organization is providing those in immediate need with medicine and hygiene supplies, while another team is assessing the damage in the Caribbean, as well as continuing to help those affected by Harvey.

Operation USA Supporting health and educational programs, Operation USA helps children and families recover and thrive in the wake of disasters. All donations will support the shipment of vital material aid to those in need in the wake of Hurricane Irma.

Humane Society International Humane Society International works with local and international organizations to provide relief to animals and communities impacted by disasters occurring around the world.

Check back here or visit the United newsroom for updates on our ongoing relief efforts.

Reflecting on Veterans Day: a message from our CEO Oscar Munoz

By Oscar Munoz, CEO, United Airlines , November 11, 2019

Right now, around the world, brave members of America's armed forces are on duty, defending our freedom and upholding our values.

When not laser-focused on the mission at hand, they're looking forward to the day when their service to our nation is fulfilled and they can reunite with their families.

They are also imagining how they can use their hard-earned skills to build an exciting, rewarding and important career when they return home.

I want them to look no further than United Airlines.

That's why we are focused on recruiting, developing and championing veterans across our company, demonstrating to our returning women and men in uniform that United is the best possible place for them to put their training, knowledge, discipline and character to the noblest use.

They've developed their knowledge and skills in some of the worst of times. We hope they will use those skills to keep United performing at our best, all of the time.

That's why we are accelerating our efforts to onboard the best and the brightest, and substantially increasing our overall recruitment numbers each year.

We recently launched a new sponsorship program to support onboarding veterans into United and a new care package program to support deployed employees. It's one more reason why United continues to rank high - and rise higher - as a top workplace for veterans. In fact, we jumped 21 spots this year on Indeed.com's list of the top U.S workplaces for veterans. This is a testament to our increased recruiting efforts, as well as our efforts to create a culture where veterans feel valued and supported.

We use the special reach and resources of our global operations to partner with outstanding organizations. This is our way of stepping up and going the extra mile for all those who've stepped forward to answer our nation's call.

We do this year-round, and the month of November is no exception; however, it is exceptional, especially as we mark Veterans Day.

As we pay tribute to all Americans who have served in uniform and carried our flag into battle throughout our history, let's also keep our thoughts with the women and men who are serving around the world, now. They belong to a generation of post-9/11 veterans who've taken part in the longest sustained period of conflict in our history.

Never has so much been asked by so many of so few.... for so long. These heroes represent every color and creed. They are drawn from across the country and many immigrated to our shores.

They then freely choose to serve in the most distant and dangerous regions of the world, to protect democracy in its moments of maximum danger.

Wherever they serve - however they serve - whether they put on a uniform each day, or serve in ways which may never be fully known, these Americans wake up each morning willing to offer the "last full measure of devotion" on our behalf.

Every time they do so, they provide a stunning rebuke to the kinds of voices around the world who doubt freedom and democracy's ability to defend itself.

Unfortunately, we know there are those who seem to not understand – or say they do not - what it is that inspires a free people to step forward, willing to lay down their lives so that their country and fellow citizens might live.

But, we – who are both the wards and stewards of the democracy which has been preserved and handed down to us by veterans throughout our history – do understand.

We know that inciting fear and hatred of others is a source of weakness, not strength. And such divisive rhetoric can never inspire solidarity or sacrifice like love for others and love of country can.

It is this quality of devotion that we most honor in our veterans - those who have served, do serve and will serve.

On behalf of a grateful family of 96,000, thank you for your service.

Humbly,

Oscar

United named a top workplace for veterans

By The Hub team , November 10, 2019

Each year around Veterans Day, Indeed, one of the world's largest job search engines, rates companies based on actual employee reviews to identify which ones offer the best opportunities and benefits for current and former U.S. military members. Our dramatic improvement in the rankings this year reflects a stronger commitment than ever before to actively recruiting, developing and nurturing veteran talent.

"We've spent a lot of time over the past 12 months looking for ways to better connect with our employees who served and attract new employees from the military ranks," said Global Catering Operations and Logistics Managing Director Ryan Melby, a U.S. Army veteran and the president of our United for Veterans business resource group.

"Our group is launching a mentorship program, for instance, where we'll assign existing employee-veterans to work with new hires who come to us from the armed forces. Having a friend and an ally like that, someone who can help you translate the skills you picked up in the military to what we do as a civilian company, is invaluable. That initiative is still in its infancy, but I'm really optimistic about what it can do for United and for our veteran population here."

Impressively, we were the only one of our industry peers to move up on the list, further evidence that we're on a good track as a company.

Mission Accomplished

By Matt Adams , November 06, 2019

The question of where David Ferrari was had haunted retired U.S. Army Sergeant Major Vincent Salceto for the better part of 66 years.

Rarely did a week go by that Salceto didn't think about his old friend. Often, he relived their last moments together in a recurring nightmare. In it, it's once again 1953 and Salceto and Ferrari are patrolling a valley in what is now North Korea. Suddenly, explosions shatter the silence and flares light up the night sky.

Crouching under a barrage of bullets, Salceto, the squad's leader, drags two of his men to safety, then he sees Ferrari lying face down on the ground. He runs out to help him, but he's too late. And that's when he always wakes up.

Italian Americans from opposite coasts – Salceto from Philadelphia, Ferrari from San Francisco – the two became close, almost like brothers, after being assigned to the same unit during the Korean War. When Ferrari died, it hit Salceto hard.

"After that, I never let anyone get close to me like I did with Dave," he says. "I couldn't; I didn't want to go through that again."

When the war ended, Salceto wanted to tell Ferrari's family how brave their son and brother had been in battle. Most of all, he wanted to salute his friend at his gravesite and give him a proper farewell.

For decades, though, Salceto had no luck finding his final resting place or locating any of his relatives. Then, in June of this year, he uncovered a clue that led him to the Italian Cemetary in Colma, California, where Ferrari is buried.

Within days, Salceto, who lives in Franklinville, New Jersey, was packed and sitting aboard United Flight 731 from Philadelphia to San Francisco with his wife, Amy, and daughter, Donna Decker, on his way to Colma. For such a meaningful trip, he even wore his Army dress uniform.

That's how San Francisco-based flight attendant Noreen Baldwin spotted him as he walked down the jet bridge to get on the plane.

"I saw him and said to the other crew members, 'Oh my goodness, look at this guy,'" she says. "I knew there had to be a story."

The two struck up a conversation and Salceto told Baldwin why he was traveling. She got emotional listening to him talk and made a point of fussing over him, making sure he and his family had everything they needed.

About halfway through the flight, Baldwin had an idea. She and her fellow crew members would write messages of encouragement to Salceto and invite his fellow passengers to do the same.

"We did it discreetly," says Baldwin. "I asked the customers if they saw the man in uniform, which most had, and asked them if they wanted to write a few words for him on a cocktail napkin. A lot of people did; families did it together, parents got their kids to write something. After the first few rows, I was so choked up that I could barely talk."

When Baldwin surprised Salceto with dozens of hand-written notes, he, too, was speechless. He laid the stack on his lap and read each one. At the same time, the pilots made an announcement about the veteran over the loud speaker, after which the customers on board burst into applause.

"It seems contrived, and I hate using the word organic, but that's what it was; it just happened," Baldwin says. "Mr. Salceto was so loveable and humble, and what he was doing was so incredible, it felt like the right thing to do. And you could tell he was touched."

On June 27, Salceto finally stood before Ferrari's grave and said that long-awaited goodbye. As a trumpeter played "Taps," he unpinned a medal from his jacket and laid it reverently on the headstone.

"I had gotten a Bronze Star for my actions [the night Ferrari died] with a 'V' for valor, and that was the medal I put on Dave's grave," says Salceto, pausing to fight back tears. "I thought he was more deserving of it than I was."

For the first time in years, Salceto felt at peace. His mission was accomplished.

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