Dreams Take Flight
November 14 wasn’t your average Wednesday morning for a group of 24 ConocoPhillips Canada (CPC) staff. These early-risers headed to the airport for 4 am to prepare a special group of 156 kids for the trip of a lifetime.
The kids were headed to California thanks to Dreams Take Flight, a national non-profit charity that provides children who have experienced medical, physical, or emotional and mental trauma with a free trip to Disneyland. CPC has been a proud supporter of Dreams Take Flight since 2009. CPC staff volunteered their time to ensure that the kids were organized and boarded the flight without incident.
“I look forward to this every year,” says Shelley Forbes, Community Investment Coordinator. “Seeing how excited the kids are about their trip is heartwarming. Everyone involved in the day – from the Dreams Take Flight organizers, to the CPC staff getting the kids ready, to the Air Canada pilots and flight attendants on the plane – is a volunteer. It’s truly a group effort where everyone comes together to make this special day happen.”
Prior to departure, the kids were given CPC sunglasses and water bottles and were placed into smaller groups, each named for a popular Disney character. The groups were chaperoned by CPC leaders who spent the day at Disneyland making sure the kids had a great day.
“I was blown away to see all our ConocoPhillips volunteers dressed in their blue t-shirts ready to help put the kids at ease and get them ready for a fabulous day at Disneyland,” says Khoa Dao, Vice President, Development. “It was wonderful to be part of a group of dedicated volunteers whose goal was to provide 156 kids with the most magical day at Disneyland. I got to know six wonderful kids in my group and will admit I had just as much fun as they did on all the rides.”
As for Darryl Hass, Vice President, Health, Safety, Environment & Sustainable Development, here’s how he sums up the day: “I love seeing the children go from being unsure that this is really happening, to seeing the Disney gates with huge smiles on their faces, to bringing them home tired and fulfilled to their parents’ waiting arms. It is truly a transformational experience and the memories they make that day will be with them for the rest of their lives.”
At the end of a busy day, the kids boarded a flight back home to Calgary and were reunited with their parents just after midnight.
Thank you to our CPC volunteers who helped make this such a magical day.