For those of you that were on the charter flight @ SMD2 yesterday, you'll know that a group of us (xyzzy, J. Edward, Hartmann, and myself) have officially started a non-profit organization called Frequent Flyer Giving, Inc. for the sole purpose of donating to employees in need of the travel and hospitality organizations that we use most. We officially kicked off the Donation Drive aboard flight, with LukeSkywaiter and COinsider. We also thank tommy777, oliver2002, sbm12, and Randy Petersen for being supportive of our efforts.
As with last year, the focus of our donation drive this holiday season is Continental Airlines WeCare Employee Fund, not to be confused with the WeCare customer service line.
The WeCare Fund is a financial assistance program that helps Continental Airlines employees and their families by granting financial assistance. These funds are used to pay for basic necessities such as rent, clothing, medicine and food, during unexpected emergencies such as floods, fires and personal illness. WeCare traces its roots back to early 1984, when a group of Accounting employees began to salvage and sell computer paper with proceeds dedicated to the department's holiday party. When one of the employees in the department became ill and couldn't buy food for her two small children, the party money was loaned to her. As the funds grew, the employees became aware of other assistance needs and WeCare was born. All WeCare cases are submitted in confidence and reviewed by Continental's WeCare volunteer board of directors. In 2008, WeCare donated $ $981,704 to 766 Continental employees. More recently, WeCare has supported the family needs of employees affected by Hurricane Ike, with over $850,000 donated to over 450 employees.
This is a great organization that we are honored to support. The people who benefit directly or indirectly assist us each and every day to get us to our destinations safely and comfortably. This year, Continental Airlines provided the 753 that ferried around 200 Flyertalkers on SMD2 from IAH - PHX - PAE.
To donate to the WeCare Employee Fund, please go to www.ffgiving.org. Last year Flyertalk donated $1600 to the cause, and we hope to exceed $2500 this year!
I'm quite happy to see that this effort has been formalized and that it will continue going forward. It is a tremendous effort and a great tribute to the FlyerTalk community that these charitable efforts are so successful.
Programs: UA GS/Avis President's/Hyatt Platinum/Marriott Gold/LH FT
Originally Posted by usa18dca
Excellent Idea and I'll be more than happy to contribute my part to this, can I ask if your "official non-profit organization" has attained the IRS 501(C)3 Status yet?
Excellent question. No, we're still pending that status. J.Edward (our illustrious accountant) and our lawyer has been working furiously with the IRS to make sure we get this squared away before the end of the year. On the off chance that our ever efficient government can't get this resolved, our directors will pay the requisite taxes owed from our own pockets without touching a cent of the donated amount (and hopefully claim that amount back from the IRS once everything is resolved). 100% of the proceeds after Paypal fees will go to CO WeCare. We apologize for this, as we had a late start on getting this organization rolling. Last year we ran into quite a few problems with Google Checkout and PayPal, as we didn't have an organization set up, and that's the reason we've invested in this entity. Keep in mind that Frequent Flyer Giving is just a pass-through organization. The CO WeCare Fund is a 501(c)3 non-profit entity, and so we expect no issues from the IRS.
I have a specific donation situation and wondered if this charity would be the best or if another Continental Charity exists that would work better. I'd like to donate a car to the daughter of a Continental employee. The employee just passed away and his 16 year old daughter needs a car. Can I do this through WeCare?