The Boeing Company partnered with Shenzhen Airlines and the Washington-Sichuan Friendship Association on June 6 to load 5,872 pounds of vented cone masks and coveralls into the airline’s new Boeing 737-800.
The newly-purchased materials, which will help earthquake relief workers in their recovery efforts, were then flown over the weekend to the Chengdu Shuang Liu Airport to benefit the earthquake-damaged area of Sichuan Province in China. This effort marks the second “Flight of Hope” humanitarian relief initiative in response to the China earthquake.
“The Boeing Company is working with our airline customers and nonprofit partners to bring new materials to China to help rebuild some of the hardest-hit areas damaged by the earthquake,” said Fred Kiga, vice president, State and Local Government and Global Corporate Citizenship for the Northwest Region, Boeing Commercial Airplanes. “It is our greatest hope that our collective efforts will bring comfort to the Chinese people during this tragic and challenging time. This collaborative work and ongoing efforts reflect our company’s commitment to improve the communities around the world in which we live, work and support.”
On June 7, Boeing employees and several elected Washington state officials, including Lt. Gov. Brad Owen and State Sen. Jim Kastama, joined Jimmy Chen, vice chair of the Washington-Sichuan Friendship Association, and others to celebrate the delivery of the humanitarian-relief materials.
One highlight of the event came when Shenzhen Airlines accepted an additional delivery named the “Bag of Love,” a sack containing more than 800 greeting cards and letters written by Pierce County schoolchildren for their counterparts in the earthquake-affected region.
Chen said he hopes the Washington-Sichuan Friendship Association’s contribution, which was sponsored by Seattle-based Trident Seafoods and Tacoma-based Chinese Community of Tacoma, will result in an educational and cultural exchange program with China.
“The event was sensational,” Chen said. “The citizens of Washington state share the sadness of the Sichuan people and send encouragement and hope for recovery in the coming days.”
Jiang Pan, vice general manager of Shenzhen Airlines’ Flight Department and captain of the 737-800 delivery airplane, said it was important to him to be able to personally deliver the relief supplies back to China. “We want relief for all the people in the earthquake area,” Pan said.