BLUE BELL, Pennsylvania (WPVI) -- Angel Flight East will be flying over 2,000 pounds of hand sanitizer and face shields on Thursday from Wings Field to a variety of rural healthcare facilities.
"The mission of Angel Flight East is to transport patients who need medical care far away from home and can't afford it," said Adam Zucker.
Angel Flight East has suspended patient flights due to COVID-19, but has now shifted its efforts to flying PPE for healthcare workers on the front line.
Recently, the organization partnered with Project Shields, a group of University of Pennsylvania alums who have halted their business operations to mass-produce face shields
On Thursday morning at Wings Field in Blue Bell, dozens of boxes containing thousands of pieces of protective face shields for medical workers were loaded into small airplanes.
"We're just so blessed to be able to have 450 pilots were just interested in giving back to the communities and communities far away," said Madeline Beck, flight coordinator for Angel Flight East.
Zucker said the pilots have a deep connection with their passengers.
"They're almost like family," he said. "We certainly don't want to transmit anything to them, and we don't want it coming back to us."
So that's why Angel Flight East is now focusing on delivering the protective equipment instead, which is all donated through the partnership of a couple of Penn graduates.
"A lot of our friends in local hospitals said they needed access to face shields, so I just halted my own operations and shifted into production of face shields," said Instahub CEO Michael Wong.
They have donated 4,000 face shields to be transported to hospitals through their Project Shields initiative.
"It's really important that we get these to those who need it most, especially to those in areas that are typically forgotten," said Fulphil CEO Tiffany Yau.
Everyone involved said they will continue to collaborate through this crisis, but they also said they really need help from the community.
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Angel Flight East delivers much needed PPE supplies to the front lines