American planemaker Boeing announced on Friday that it would be providing $700,000 in grants to help local communities cope with the wildfires burning along the West Coast of the United States. The funding, which comes from the Boeing Charitable Trust, will be directed to multiple groups, including the American Red Cross and several nonprofit organizations.
The world’s largest fire-fighting plane – a modified Boeing 747 – is currently enlisted in the battle against wildfires in California. Photo: Getty Images
“On behalf of Boeing employees across the globe, we extend our heartfelt sympathies to all those impacted by the West Coast wildfires…As these wildfires have ravaged the Western United States, the American Red Cross has stepped up to answer the call at this critical moment of need, and we are happy to support them in their critical work.” –David Calhoun, Boeing President and CEO
Crisis on the West Coast
According to CNBC, the United States is merely halfway through its 2020 wildfire season, but the damage already caused has reached historic proportions. To date, out-of-control fires in California, Oregon, and Washington have already ravaged millions of acres of forest and destroyed entire communities. Alaska Airlines has even had to cancel numerous flights due to poor visibility conditions caused by heavy smoke.
Alaska Airlines’ suspension affects flights on September 14th and 15th affected service to and from Portland and Spokane airports. Photo: GCMap.com
The fires have even reached Boeing’s backyard in Washington State, with the Fish Fire burning outside of Tacoma and the Whitney and Pearl Hill fires burning in the area of Moses Lake – an area where Boeing conducts many of its aircraft tests.
Boeing is contributing $700,000 to support those affected by the humanitarian and environmental crisis. $500,000 of this sum will go to the American Red Cross to support its fire relief efforts in the states of Washington, Oregon, and California.
“Through our partnership with the Red Cross, we will help bring recovery and relief efforts to those who have been displaced – and whose lives have been impacted – by these destructive fires.” –David Calhoun, Boeing President and CEO
A shot of the Bobcat Fire in Juniper Hills, California, on September 18th. California faces more devastation from wildfires that have ravaged the West Coast, authorities warned on September 16th. Photo: Getty Images
The remaining $200,000 will provide food assistance in the same three states. Breaking down the $200,000, half of this will be given to Northwest Harvest in Washington, while $50,000 each will go to the Oregon Food Bank and Redwood Empire Food Bank in California.
It’s in Washington, Oregon, and California, where significant numbers of the company’s employees live and work. “Thousands of our families, friends, and neighbors have been displaced around the west,” said Stan Deal, president and CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes. Mr. Deal adds that Boeing is committed to helping those affected through this exceptionally challenging time.
Additional funds generated through Boeing’s gift match scheme
It looks like more than $700,000 could come from the planemaker. In fact, Boeing says that consistent with its employee gift match programs; the company will also “match qualifying employee contributions made to eligible nonprofits for wildfire relief efforts.”
Thick smoke caused by wildfires has made flying difficult as visibility has lowered. Photo: Getty Images
Boeing’s contributions will provide shelter, food, and essentials for those who have been displaced from their homes due to the wildfires. These funds, delivered to the Red Cross, will also assist in the ongoing evacuation and aid delivery response in impacted communities. Don Herring, Chief Development Officer at the American Red Cross, said that the organization is extremely grateful for Boeing’s support, which allows the group to provide shelter, food, and comfort to those in need.
Let us know if and how you’ve been impacted by the fires burning on the US West Coast by leaving a comment.