Since 1987, cabin crew and airline ground-staff around the world have collected more than $120 million in unused currency from passengers to support UNICEF’s global Change for Good programme. Change for Good aims to reduce the number of preventable childhood deaths and, thanks to generous donations from passengers, UNICEF has been able to save more than 16,000 additional lives each day than was possible in 1990.
While the Change for Good programme is in operation on 12 airlines worldwide, UNICEF has developed a particularly close association with American Airlines, and since 1994, more than 2,700 flight attendants and Admirals Club volunteers have raised $9 million alone. As well as collecting donations during international flights, the airline’s volunteers have become involved in UNICEF’s work in other ways.
After helping to raise nearly $1.2 million for UNICEF in 2012, four American Airlines flight attendants made a trip to Brazil to see UNICEF initiatives that focus on child survival, protection and development, in addition to engaging adolescents to create social change. Each year, Champions for Children have the opportunity to vote on a UNICEF project to support with a portion of funds collected through Change for Good and in 2012 they voted to direct $200,000 of the 2011 collections to support UNICEF work in Brazil.
Change for Good donations are also supporting UNICEF’s HIV/AIDS programmes and aiding children and families affected by the devastating food crisis in the Sahel region of Africa. Funds will also help provide clean water and sanitation to communities in southern Colombia.