OCC Volunteer Activities
Keith Cooper serves on the Board of an aviation startup company and volunteers for Angel Flight, a 501(c)(3) organization that serves people in need by arranging charitable flights for health care or other humanitarian purposes, and Pilot N Paws by flying animals designated for kill shelters to foster and adoptive care.
Angel Flight Central
Angel Flight Central (AFC) is a volunteer non-profit 501(c)(3) organization whose mission it is to “Serve people in need by arranging charitable flights for health care or other humanitarian purposes.”
Today, AFC volunteers and supporters throughout the Midwest have made possible over 32,000 flights “free of charge” covering over 11 million nautical miles. We are helping thousands of families access specialized health care, special needs camps, and other destinations for disaster response efforts and compassionate reasons.
Angel Flight Central, in the heart of the mid-west, collaborating coast-to-coast as we give hope wings every day!
Founder and Chairman Emeritus, James H. Stevens, Jr. relives the beginning:
“His name was John, an eight year old adopted Korean boy suffering from a rare heart abnormality preventing his blood from getting enough oxygen. He was going to die without an operation. Beyond no health insurance and adoptive parents experiencing financial hard times, the hospital simply did not have the expertise to perform the surgery John needed to live. A surgeon and hospital in another state agreed to save this child’s live at no cost to the family, if only John could get to their facility.
I offered to fly him. I was shocked to see the blue color of John’s skin. As he was carried to the plane he looked into my eyes and with the biggest grin you ever saw gave me a salute and said, “I’m ready for my first flight, Captain!” During the flight he was cradled in his mother’s arms as she administered oxygen. After landing he brightened up and asked, “Can I have my wings now?”
His mother was clearly at a loss for words, and not knowing what to do or to say simply gave me a long bear hug with tears streaming down her face. Without a word they left and I was hooked. That day I flew over nine hours and not once did I regret my decision.”
Since that day in August 1995, Angel Flight Central (then Wings Over Mid-America) with the help of 325 volunteer pilots, have flown just under 10 million nautical miles and have helped transport over 30,000 passengers. As we head into the future, it will be the generosity of our volunteer pilots, donors and supporters that will enable us to “Give Hope Wings” providing free flights for people in need”.
Thank you for 25 wonderful years!
Pilot N Paws
Pilots N Paws® is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Our site is intended to be a meeting place for volunteers engaged in the valuable services of rescuing, sheltering and adopting animals, and volunteer pilots and plane owners willing to assist with animal transportation. The intent of Pilots N Paws is to provide an environment in which volunteers can come together and arrange or schedule rescue flights, overnight foster care or shelter, and all other related activities.
Through the Pilots N Paws discussion board, volunteers can exchange information regarding animal transports, coordinate and schedule transports, share rescue stories and recruit volunteers.
All participants are encouraged to check daily for new listings on the discussion board for purposes of volunteering or assisting in our effort to save animals. The discussion board is also intended for participants to develop friendships and relationships and to get to know one another because we are all working toward a common goal, to save the lives of innocent animals.
The only request for those participating is to be aware of the concerns of others. For that reason, the Paws N Paws discussion board includes links to information that is specific to pilots and those involved in the sheltering or rescue process. Aviation is a wonderful alternative to ground transportation, but those involved will have concerns not generally faced by ground transporters.
ANY RESCUE FLIGHTS THAT ARE ARRANGED THROUGH OUR ORGANIZATION’S DISCUSSION BOARD ARE CONSIDERED PILOTS N PAWS FACILITATED FLIGHTS. VOLUNTEERS ARE ENCOURAGED TO POST THEIR RESCUE STORIES ON THE PILOTS N PAWS DISCUSSION BOARD. HOWEVER, WHEN DOING SO, YOU ARE NOT PERMITTED TO SOLICIT FUNDS OR PROMOTE THE SERVICES OF ANY OTHER ANIMAL RESCUE, SHELTERING OR TRANSPORTATION ORGANIZATION, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO POSTING THIRD-PARTY ORGANIZATION NAMES AND LINKS IN SIGNATURE BLOCKS, WITHOUT THE EXPRESS PERMISSION OF PILOTS N PAWS.