WHO ARE WE? NBC tells a small part of our story. Here is a little more...
My name is Chris Allen. I bought a small unbranded FAA Part 135 Air Carrier based at Fort Lauderdale International Airport Based (translation ... it's a mini airline with six airplanes, seven pilots, two sales people and three mechanics). While we are small, we do more volume in flights than any other carriers of our size; we run a tight ship with low overhead. As a prior USAF Pilot owning a niche aviation business that is entirely focused on supporting the Bahamas, when the Hurricane hit, I couldn't help but take action. And my team and I have been acting ever since.
OUR CONNECTION TO BAHAMAS. Since 1987 Air Flight has been flying Bahamians, cargo and pets, including free Potcake dog rescue flights and even cows for Amish families that live on Andros Island (before my time). The Bahamian people are our friends. We know them by name. That's why we take this help personally and will go above and beyond to get them help. We are connected to them on so many levels. We've been helping schools, teachers and children there for decades, personally supplying teacher supplies, backpacks, books and more. (Side note - we are licensed with Bahamas Civil Air Authority to fly to the Bahamas ~ which means we are legally allowed to fly relief support to the Bahamas)
1. Asking for financial support. It's not something I like to do. But I created this GFM page because the need is bigger than I personally can financially support.
1. Finding Relief Supplies. My team is top notch at calling collection points and people that want to send relief supplies. We have sent over 120,000 lbs in 30 days. We did a lot of evacuations and rescues along the way of both pets and people.
2. Ability. We can personally receive and fly supplies to all the damaged areas in the Bahamas, including some that others can't access as we have access to private airstrips in remote locations. We have Bahamians on the ground working with us along with three vehicles to unload the supplies and personally deliver them to the locations that need the supplies (those people don't have cars, so they can't drive to the airport or port to get supplies, thehave to be delivered by truck ... which is what we do). With support, we could deliver over 20,000 lbs in supplies each day.
3. Accountability. We are very careful not to drop off supplies at distribution points in the Bahamas. I'm not going to say what happens when you distribution points aren't held accountable. Let's just say the supplies don't always get where you want them to go. We make "house calls" ... we visit each house to find out what they need and we give them support accordingly. We know what we've given already ... and therefore we know which houses have generators, roofing supplies, etc and don't need any others. We know which houses have babies and children and which houses have elderly people. We are people-to-people.
4. Love & Hope. When we arrive, we start by giving people hugs to the people in need, we visit them in their homes, we listen to their stories, we love on them and then we give them more hugs when we leave. And we do this many times a week to different locations, whether it's me or one of our pilots or one of the groups or churches we are working with. I'd like to think we are not just delivering much needed relief supplies ... but more importantly, we are delivering compassion, love and hope for a better future.
5. Unbiased. We love and support everyone ... Bahamians, Haitians, Dogs & Cats (and I'm allergic to cats).
6. 100% Goes to Relief Work. We value people over money. Everything you give goes 100% to relief efforts. We don't keep 10% or even 5%. Operating airplanes isn't cheap ... paying for fuel, tires, breaks, and the pilots (we don't pay the pilots much ... but they still need to be able to eat and pay rent at the end of the day. I can only ask so much of them).
1. Ongoing Partners & Financial Support. We'll be happy to give shout-outs and visibility to those that would like it. Or keep support confidential.
2. Connections. These are the best. Even if you don't anyone personally, pick up the phone and start calling people on our behalf. If you connect us with any person or organization that has the need to fly to the Bahamas, that will make the biggest difference in helping the Bahamians. First, I promise they will get the best price guaranteed for the flight. Second, Every nook and cranny of unused space on the flight will be filled with relief supplies. This gives us the ability to send tens of thousands of pounds of additional relief supplies for free every month simply by filling up empty spaces on those flights. What kind of Connections to look for ... Construction Companies, Insurance Companies, Any Humanitarian Aid Organizations, Anyone Fundraising to Provide Relief to Bahamas, Home Owners, Resort Owners, Government Officials, etc. - Anyone that has an ongoing need to the Bahamas. We promise to fill every empty space on those flights with relief supplies = free shipping = more help to those in need.
If you'd like to discuss our ongoing relief efforts, please call me or my team at 954-359-032(or me text me at 405-361-4843).
Side note unrelated to current relief efforts. If anyone reading this would like to support the development of a very comprehensive not-for-profit App which would be made availabe for use to any vetted First Responders in a crises like this ... many of the fog & friction of war issues that naturally rise during a crisis like this (Search & Rescue Coordination, First Responder Coordination, Damage Assessment, Distribution Channels, Leadership, Supply Chains, Dynamic Needs Assessment, Accountability and Tracking of Supplies, Supply Database Inventory at collection points, distribution points and final delivery points, Medical Coordination, etc), I'd love to chat. The ability to save lives and millions in relief efforts can be accomplished through a moderately complex but very attainable App to use automated drone mapping augmented with helicopter imagery as needed, artificial intelligence, specialized sat phones which interact with the App's database (if networks are down otherwise the App with GPS is sufficient), and a decentralized network of vetted participants (first responders, relief organizations, police forces, medical units, fire stations, community leaders, etc). There's more to it than that.
- mark Boyer Sr
- Coleen Grieb
- David Malcolm