A humanitarian flying team known as the Air-O-Sols – made up of Glendon Professor Emeritus Daphne Schiff, 80, and flight partner Adele Fogle, 71 – and their participation in the African humanitarian effort called Air Solidarité generated a lot of interest when their story appeared in the media last year (see story in YFile’s Jan. 26 issue). Several newspapers including the North York Mirror and the Canadian Jewish News wrote about the pair and Schiff was interviewed on CBC radio and television about their yearly flight to deliver much-needed medical and school supplies to areas of Africa ravaged by war, famine and other disasters.
Right: From left, Daphne Schiff and Adele Fogle
Their story inspired a Glendon student club to raise awareness funds for Schiff and Fogle, who need $15,000 to participate in the Air Solidarité program and another $25,000 in donations to cover the cost of their expenses including fuel and accommodations during the trip. The medicines and school supplies they distribute are additional donations from individuals and corporations.
One of the most meaningful responses to the call for donations by the Air-O-Sols was a special event held on March 16 by the student-run Glendon Amnesty International Club to raise awareness about human rights and the importance of humanitarian aid missions such as the one undertaken by Schiff and Fogle. The event was the brainchild of third-year Glendon student Matthew Henzel, who recently received a Glendon Student Service Award for his contribution to the Glendon community. Henzel, the coordinator of the Glendon Amnesty International Club, approached fellow club members with Schiff and Fogle’s story.
Working with Schiff, the club invited speakers to make presentations on the topic of human rights. The evening included student musical performances, as well as a fundraising opportunity to donate to the work of Air Solidarité and, in particular, the Air-O-Sols. The event raised $205 for the mission.
“We explained to all those present that the money was going to a very important cause and that Air Solidarité is trying to make a real difference”, said Henzel. “We told the students that every donation counted, no matter how small. Students are very hard-pressed for funds these days and we wanted to make sure that the money was going to be used where it was needed most.”
Schiff was moved by the students’ generosity and their concern for others and declared it one of the most significant donations she had ever received towards her trips to Africa.
“It is an understatement to say that the time is now for the international community to live up to its belief that all humans are equal”, declared Henzel. “It is not enough for the international community to say so; it must show its intentions with real contributions. It gives our club great joy to support an organization which is already doing that.”
For more information on the mission or to make a donation to the Air-O-Sols’ flight on behalf of Air Solidarité, contact Daphne Schiff at ext. 88286, or e-mail email@example.com.
This article was submitted to YFile by Marika Kemeny, communications officer at Glendon.