Over the past seven weeks, JetBlue once again demonstrated its deep commitment to helping the American Red Cross help communities in need during times of disaster.
Right after Sandy swept through our area, leaving a path of unprecedented destruction in its wake, JetBlue sent crew members to Long Island to help run a Red Cross shelter for people displaced by the hurricane.
And yesterday, Rob Maruster, JetBlue COO and Greater New York Red Cross board chair, and Robin Hayes, JetBlue CCO, along with other JetBlue executives and two JetBlue customers, presented a check for $820,000 to the Red Cross for Sandy relief at a meeting of Greater New York volunteers and employees.
“The Red Crossers who are helping in this relief effort give new meaning to volunteerism and professionalism,” said Maruster. “I couldn’t be more proud of all of you.”
“In Rob and JetBlue, we have one of our strongest supporters,” said Josh Lockwood, Greater New York Red Cross Regional CEO. “JetBlue has given generously to our organization over the past several years. We can’t thank them enough.”
The airline raised the majority of the funds it donated by engaging its customers and “TrueBlue” points members. In one month, customers donated more than $720,000. JetBlue matched the first $100,000, with a total donation of $820,000 going to the Red Cross for relief efforts. JetBlueGives.org provided the platform for customers to donate directly to relief efforts.
JetBlue customers Niki Glarakis of Long Island and Rosalind Sutherland of New Orleans were also on hand and spoke at the meeting.
“Sandy really hit my heart,” said Glarakis, who lost power for a number of days after the storm. “Red Cross responded with integrity, honesty and compassion.”
“I felt compelled to be here because we got so much help from New Yorkers and others from around the country after Katrina,” said Sutherland. “I live in New Orleans, so I am very aware of the emotional toll of living through a disaster. My advice to the victims of Sandy is to take one day at a time, one task at a time and don’t try to go it alone. Remember that there are people who you will never see or meet, who are sharing what they can.”
Photo left to right: Robin Hayes, JetBlue CCO; Rob Maruster, JetBlue COO and Greater New York Red Cross board chair; Rosalind Sutherland and Niki Glarakis, JetBlue customers; and Josh Lockwood,Greater New York Red Cross Regional CEO. Photo: Destry Carr/American Red Cross