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.

Shaping an inclusive future with Special Olympics

By The Hub team, July 24, 2020

If your travels have taken you through Chicago O'Hare International Airport anytime since October 2019, you may have had a friendly, caring and jovial exchange with Daniel Smrokowski. Daniel is one of four Service Ambassadors thanks to our ongoing partnership with Special Olympics. This inaugural ambassador program aims to provide Special Olympic athletes employment opportunities within our operation, affording them a unique and meaningful career.

Since 2018, our partnership with Special Olympics has become one of United's most cherished relationships, going beyond the events we take part in and volunteer with. While the plane pull competitions, polar plunges, duck derbies and Special Olympics World Games and other events around the world are a big part of our involvement, the heart of this partnership lies with the athletes and individuals supported by Special Olympics. To advocate for their inclusion in every setting is one of our biggest honors, and we take great pride in the role we play in the organization's inclusion revolution.

Aiding in the success of Special Olympics' mission to create continuing opportunities for individuals with intellectual disabilities, throughout the two-year partnership, United has volunteered over 10,500 hours and donated over $1.2 million in travel to the organization. The impact of this partnership is felt at every level, both at Special Olympics and within our own ranks.

"The Inclusion Revolution campaign, led by our athletes, aims to end discrimination against people with intellectual disabilities. United Airlines has joined in our fight for inclusion, empowering our athletes with the skills needed to succeed and opportunities to contribute their abilities as leaders," said Special Olympics International Chairman Tim Shriver. "United Airlines believes that people with intellectual disabilities should be perceived as they really are: independent, world-class athletes, students, employees, neighbors, travelers, and leaders who contribute to make this world a better place."

Our Service Ambassador program is just one of the many ways Special Olympics has impacted not only our employees, but also our customers. "I see every day how our Service Ambassadors connect with our customers the moment they walk into the airport lobby," said Senior Customer Service Supervisor Steve Suchorabski. "They provide a warm, welcoming smile ad assist in any way they can. To see these young adults hold positions that a society once told them they couldn't is truly the most heartwarming part of my job," Steve continued.

"The opportunity to be a part of the United family means everything to me," Daniel said. "I feel so much pride showing up to work in a Special Olympics/United co-branded uniform, working among such a loving and supportive community. The relationship between these two organizations is truly helping to shape my future while letting me use my gifts of communicating and helping others. Hopefully, I can spend my entire career at United," Daniel added.

In honor of Special Olympics' Global Week of Inclusion in July, we're asking our employees, customers and partners to sign a pledge to #ChooseToInclude at jointherevolution.org/pledge.

And be sure to check out Daniel's podcast The Special Chronicles.

United works with partners to send food to USDA food bank

By The Hub team, July 23, 2020

In collaboration with food-logistics company Commodity Forwarders Inc. (CFI), United moved nearly 190,000 pounds of fresh produce to Guam for the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Coronavirus Farm Assistance Program. This new program was created to provide critical support to consumers impacted by the COVID-19 global pandemic.

A variety of fresh fruits were transported from Los Angeles (LAX) to Guam (GUM) on United's newly introduced, non-stop cargo-only flight – a route added to meet cargo demand during the COVID-19 crisis. The fresh food was repacked in 10-pound cases in Los Angeles, prepared for departure at CFI's LAX location, and flown to GUM by the United team. Through this beneficial partnership between United and CFI, the perishable goods were kept cool during every step of the process and distributed as part of the food bank program in Guam.

"Everyone on our team has worked relentlessly during the pandemic to get critical goods to where they are needed most. Establishing a comprehensive network of cargo-only flights have allowed us to keep the supply chain moving even while passenger flight capacity has been reduced," said Regional Senior Manager of Cargo Sales, Marco Vezjak. "Knowing that we are able to help during these difficult times – in this case the Guam community – is our biggest reward and greatest motivation to keep moving forward."

United is proud to play a role in maintaining the global food supply chain and helping people access the supplies they need. Since March 19, United has operated over 4,000 cargo-only flights, moving over 130 million pounds of cargo.

Jessica Kimbrough named Chief Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Officer

By The Hub team, July 10, 2020

Jessica Kimbrough, currently Labor Relations and Legal Strategy Managing Director, will take on the new role of Chief Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Officer Managing Director.

Jessica assumes this new and expanded position to focus on global inclusion and equity as part of our enhanced commitment to ensure best practices across the business to strengthen our culture.

In this role, Jessica will be responsible for helping United redefine our efforts on diversity, equity and inclusion – ensuring that our programs and approach are strategic, integrated and outcome-oriented, while we continue to build a culture that reflects our core values. She will report to Human Resources and Labor Relations EVP Kate Gebo.

"Jessica's appointment to this role is another critical step our executive team is taking to ensure diversity, equity and inclusion remains a top priority at United," said CEO Scott Kirby. "Given her drive, experience and commitment to champion collaboration and allyship among our employee business resource groups, she is uniquely qualified to take on this position and I look forward to working closely with her."

As Labor Relations and Legal Strategy Managing Director, Jessica worked closely with senior management to create and maintain positive labor relations among our unionized workforce, providing counsel on labor litigation, negotiations, contract administration, organizing issues and managing attorneys who represent United in labor relations. Previously, she served as Labor and Employment Counsel in our legal department.

Jessica has a passion for creating a pipeline of diverse lawyers and leaders, and was honored as one of Chicago Defender's "Women of Excellence" for excellence in her career and civic engagement in 2017. She currently serves as President of uIMPACT, our women's employee business resource group.

Jessica's new role is effective immediately.

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