Christina Andersen is a JFK-airport based American Airlines Flight Attendant and â€śChampion for Childrenâ€ť Volunteer for UNICEFâ€™s Change for Good Program on American Airlines.Â
On November 2, Kurt Stache, Vice President â€“ International, for American Airlines, and I flew to Copenhagen for a unique opportunity to tour UNICEFâ€™s Emergency Supply Center (UESC).Â TheÂ UESCÂ is an enormous warehouse where lifesaving supplies such as medical kits, nutritional supplies, therapeutic food, water, and vaccines are packed and distributed worldwide. Â UNICEF staff members gave us a tour, which I found particularly interesting. Â I was impressed to learn that one single packed UNICEF emergencyÂ supply box can help 1,000 people!
The UNICEF team also gave us a briefing aboutÂ the dire situation inÂ East Africa.Â This region is experiencing its worst drought in decades, and over 13 million people are inÂ urgentÂ need of lifesaving supplies. Â Over 320,000 children in Somalia are at risk of starving to death if they do not receive immediate care.
We also had the unique privilege to personally meet the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and the Crown Price and Crown Princess of Denmark, who participated in this event to help draw worldwide attention to this crisis. Â Their Royal Highnesses toured the UESC and helped pack supply boxes that were flown to Kenya later that evening.Â They were soÂ gracious to take the time to speak with us about this desperate crisisÂ and the immediate need for support.
We also had the opportunity to share our involvement as supporters of U.S. Fund for UNICEFÂ through UNICEFâ€™s Change for Good on American Airlines â€“ a UNICEF program which converts travelersâ€™ donations of currency into lifesaving services for the worldâ€™s childrenÂ – and the important role of flight attendant volunteers known as Champions for Children.Â Champions dedicated August and September Change for Good collections (approximately $286,000)Â to specifically supportÂ UNICEF’s relief efforts in the Horn of Africa.Â Â Most people I met were impressed to learn that flight attendantsÂ volunteerÂ to collect forÂ Change for GoodÂ on American and annually collect more than $1 million to support UNICEFâ€™s lifesaving programs for children!
It was truly an honor to representÂ American Airlines as a Champion for Children volunteer for UNICEFâ€™s Change for Good program on American. Â This was an unforgettable experience for me.
I would like toÂ encourage everyone to support UNICEF’s relief efforts in East Africa by visitingÂ http://eastafricacrisis.org/. Â And I urge all current Champions for Children to recruit at least one friend or fellow colleague to sign up as a Champion so we can increase our total collectionsÂ for UNICEFÂ even more. Â Think of the potentialÂ we have to make a powerful difference in the lives of many more children!