Letter From Our President: Every Little Bit Helps

Conrad N. Hilton Foundation – funded facemasks being accepted by the Voluntary Service team of the
West Palm Beach Veterans Affairs Hospital.

Protecting Our Veterans

Who would have believed last January that the US would still be in the throes of the Covid-19 pandemic? Many states have flattened the curve. But as the death toll exceeds 84,000 and our leaders say we will see the numbers pass the 100,000 mark, we at times forget the effect this is having on individual families throughout the country. It is easy to despair.

However, as our team in Florida reminded me today, every little bit helps. This was brought home to me when Tom Schrade hand-delivered our first consignment of the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation-funded facemasks to the West Palm Beach Veterans Hospital and the Miami Veterans Hospital. Over the coming days, Tom will continue to work with the Voluntary Service teams to distribute additional facemasks to veterans hospitals.

This Conrad N. Hilton Foundation veterans relief program in Florida has been driven by Tom who, as a former Navy combat demolition diver who served in Vietnam, understands all too well that so many of our nation’s veterans are in the high-risk category and need our help. They have done so much for our country now it is our turn to give a little back. With guidance from Senator Marco Rubio’s office, Tom and the AWB-USA team were introduced to the Voluntary Service Teams of the Veteran Affairs Healthcare System in order to carry out these missions.

Practicing Social distancing when delivering the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation – funded facemasks to the
Voluntary Service Chief of the Miami Veterans Affairs Hospital.

Protecting the Vulnerable Groups in Our Community

Meanwhile, our Gender and Specialist Advisor, Ashley Lackovich-Van Gorp continues with her plans to reopen the Dayton literacy center whilst observing strict safety protocols in Ohio. The center has 8 staff and 150 volunteer tutors supporting over 300 adult students including minority populations, immigrants, and refugees. Before the lockdown, Ashley and the Dayton team became the safety net for so many and now these needs will be greater than ever.

Thanks to a timely grant from the SERCO Foundation and the continued support of the local community in Montgomery County, our team in Bethesda, Maryland continues to assist the many COVID-19 affected families with supplemental care packages.

We are also excited to welcome our Aviation Advisors, Ralph Schendl based in Florida and Curtis Allcorn based in Seychelles. Our growing team of aviation experts is leading our efforts to find innovative ways to assist the local communities in East Africa in addressing the locust plague.

We are also extremely proud of our ASF family members’ achievements across the pond in Europe, where they have come together with private operators to provide free air transport for medical workers to ensure they reach their patients in remote outlying areas. They have also been busy organizing the delivery and distribution of meals and care packages to the homeless.

I am overawed by the generosity and the can-do spirit of our growing number of supporters and our colleagues in the Aviation sector. Despite the fact so many have been laid off or furloughed, they all still ask “What can we do to help?”

My heartfelt thanks to you all,

Susi Herowati – President