The Transformative Power of Inclusion - United Hub

The transformative power of inclusion

How Special Olympics touched the heart of one United employee

By The Hub team, June 26, 2018

As a parent of a child with disabilities, life demands a bit more patience, understanding and caregiving out of Rachel Tanaka. Rachel's 27-year-old daughter, Rell, was born with an intellectual disability, limiting her mental functioning and ability of learning life skills such as communicating, taking care of herself and socializing with peers.

The transformative power of inclusion

Fortunately, at the age of 12, Rell discovered Special Olympics and has never looked back. The organization quickly gave Rell an outlet where she could experience friendship, teamwork and build self-confidence.

As life changing as the involvement was for Rell, it was just as transformative for Rachel, who credits the organization for helping her continuously learn and grow in her parenting role.

Rell has learned life skills that are crucial to her path toward becoming independent, and that is my biggest dream for her, said Rachel. "Our involvement with Special Olympics has helped her tremendously, but it has also helped me. I need to be Rell's advocate, and Special Olympics has taught me how to speak up and get involved."

Rachel regularly volunteers at many of Rell's sporting events throughout the year and has even raised her hand to be head of delegation for Rell's softball team. Rachel will also be supporting Rell during the Special Olympics USA Games happening in Seattle July 1-6, in which Rell's soccer team will participate in for the first time representing Special Olympics Hawaii. One of the most joyful experiences of Rachel's involvement has been seeing her daughter grow into a confident young woman.

Rell playing soccer for Special Olympics

It's amazing what such programs can do for these athletes, said Rachel. "They are taught respect, sportsmanship, leadership, independence and many other capabilities that completely transform the lives of families."

Rachel, who is a coordinator for United Airlines' maintenance business operations in Honolulu, was one of the first employees to learn about the airline's expanded relationship with Special Olympics International. United made the announcement in March and has joined Special Olympics in its global movement to end discrimination against people with intellectual disabilities, and together, they aim to achieve a shared vision of inclusion for all.

With this partnership, United is helping to support major Special Olympics events in 2018, including the Special Olympics USA Games in Seattle July 1-6, and the 50th anniversary celebrations July 17-21 in Chicago, the site of the very first International Special Olympics Summer Games in 1968.

As an employee, I'm proud to work for a company that supports organizations making a true impact on this world, and as a parent of a child with disabilities, I am grateful, said Rachel. "Above all, I hope we all work toward eliminating the stigma facing people with intellectual disabilities. If we allow our walls to come down and let people in, we can touch the hearts of many."

United Cargo operates more than 11,000 cargo-only flights in one year

By The Hub team, March 19, 2021

On March 19, 2020, United operated its first flight carrying cargo without passengers on board. While the passenger cabin was empty, its cargo hold was completely full, carrying more than 29,000 pounds of commodities from Chicago O'Hare International Airport (ORD) to Frankfurt Airport (FRA).

A year later, United Cargo has operated more than 11,000 cargo-only flights carrying more than 570 million pounds of freight. To support the COVID-19 pandemic recovery efforts, United Cargo has also transported more than 113 million pounds of medical and pharmaceutical products on both cargo-only and passenger flights as well as approximately 10 million COVID-19 vaccines, providing global communities access to the items they have needed most.

10 tips for spring travel

By The Hub team, February 24, 2021

Whether you haven't flown with us for a while or just need a quick refresher before your spring trip, read this list of tips to know before your flight and arrive at the airport travel-ready:

1. Download the United app for contactless bag check, travel assistance and more

Before your flight, download the United app to view your flight status, check in, sign up for flight notifications, locate departure gates, access our free personal device entertainment when available and more. We've also updated our app with new features that can make your trip a little safer, including contactless bag check.

Don't forget to use Agent on Demand for help with any and all questions you may have before your flight. This new capability is available at all our U.S. hub airports and allows you to use your own mobile device to contact a customer service agent via phone, video or chat to help with day-of-travel questions while you're at the airport. Learn more about Agent on Demand here.

United joins UNICEF COVAX initiative

By The Hub team, February 19, 2021

This week, we were honored to become the first U.S. airline to join the UNICEF Humanitarian Airfreight Initiative to combat the COVID-19 pandemic by transporting the vaccine and other critically needed supplies to underserved areas of the globe.

"We are committed to helping the global community in any way we can, and we all must work together to do our part to bring this health and humanitarian crisis to an end," said Director of Cargo Specialty Products Manu Jacobs.

We will leverage our expertise to transport these critical pharmaceutical and healthcare shipments around the world safely, efficiently and expediently. We are proud to partner with the United Nations to support this global effort and provide equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines.

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