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Resources and Stories from Angel Flight West.

Flights of Joy – AFW’s Adopt a Family Program

Volunteer pilots deliver gifts to Angel Flight West passengers across the Western United States.

Angel Flight West’s volunteer pilots are transformingtheir planes into sleighs, bringing holiday joy to families struggling with medical or personal hardships and the financial burdens related to their healing and recovery.

Angel Flight West (AFW) provides free flights year-round for people who need to travel long distances to access medical care. And during the holidays, they deliver something extra.

Flights of Joy, AFW’s Adopt a Family program, started in 2020 during the COVID pandemic. Knowing that many families battling illnesses were also experiencing financial hardships, Angel Flight West’s staff and volunteers wanted to bring more joy to the holidays for our passengers.

Over the past two years, more than 50 volunteers have brightened the holiday season for 25 families across our region. Recipients meet AFW volunteers at their local airports on Adopt a Family Day where children receive their colorfully wrapped gifts and have the chance to meet the pilots who made it all possible.

This year, more than 60 AFW pilots have signed up to help families in Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington.

For these special missions, our pilots go above and beyond their traditional donation of time, talent, and resources, to cover the cost of all the gifts and to visit with families on the airfield.

About Angel Flight West

Transportation challenges create one of the most daunting barriers to healthcare—a barrier second only to the cost. As a volunteer-led, nonprofit organization, Angel Flight West’s volunteer pilots and airline partners fly people to their medical appointments at no cost to the passenger. 

Since 1983, AFW has provided more than 95,000 flights to create runways to healthcare across the Western United States. Though we’re best known for linking passengers to valuable medical resources, we also provide transportation for other humanitarian purposes, such as individuals and families escaping domestic violence, disaster relief, therapeutic programs for veterans, children’s specialty camps, and adopting families for the holidays.

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