Flight of Hope Unites Tampa Bay Leaders for Puerto Rico Hurricane Relief
On September 20, 2017, Hurricane Maria ravaged Puerto Rico, leaving homes destroyed, families stranded, and lives in disarray. Nearly three months after the devastating category 4 storm, the island is still in crisis with power outages, food shortages, dwindling medical supplies, and lack of clean water.
In the spirit of stewardship and community service, Kforce and several other Tampa Bay organizations banded together to provide medical assistance and emergency supplies to affected residents in a one-day mission called the Flight of Hope.
On November 16, 2017, a chartered plane packed by a dozen of Kforce associates and Tampa Bay partners took off from Sheltair Aviation terminal to deliver over 200 generators, 5,000 pounds of medical supplies, 200 water filtration systems, 2,000 bottles of oil, 200 gas cans and 100 packs of household items to the residents of Aguadilla, Puerto Rico.
“It was nice to be there the day before the flight took off, helping to load the plane,” said Lisa Papagoda, a Kforce copywriter and volunteer. “I couldn't believe how many supplies we had. We couldn't even fit them all on this mission! I'm happy to be a part of an organization that cares so much about helping others.”
Once landed in Puerto Rico, doctors and nurses aboard the plane ran a triage at a local university, seeing nearly 50 patients in a span of three hours. The return flight back to Tampa brought 44 Puerto Rican residents in need of medical care, including patients suffering from liver, heart, respiratory conditions and more.
Once back on the ground in Tampa Bay, arrivals reunited with families, embracing one another with open arms.
“It was an incredible opportunity to work alongside other associates here at Kforce and to give a helping hand for those affected in Puerto Rico,” said Angela Felix, a volunteer and graphic designer from Kforce. “It showed me that working with a company as large as Kforce means companies can have an even bigger impact on areas of need."
Earlier this year, Kforce pledged up to $1 million to the Red Cross in support of the ongoing recovery efforts caused by the devastation from Hurricane Harvey and Irma.
For any press inquiries regarding the Flight of Hope, please email Kforce Director of Communications and Public Relations Kimberly Bird at firstname.lastname@example.org.