On Tuesday morning (Nov. 14), for the first time since 2019, Air Canada and Dreams Take Flight departed Ottawa for Orlando with 145 children on board to experience the trip-of-a-lifetime.
With the help of Air Canada employee volunteers, support of the Air Canada Foundation, and the work by the Dreams Take Flight organization, eight flights operate annually, providing over 1,000 children each year with an unforgettable day at a theme park in Florida or California.
Accompanied by a crew of current and retired Air Canada employee volunteers, the flight took off in the early hours of the morning taking kids facing mental, physical, emotional or social adversity to a theme park in Florida.
By generously donating their time, pilots, flight attendants, maintenance engineers, and numerous other employees and volunteers on the ground and behind the scenes offer these children the chance to take a break from their everyday to make memories and discover new possibilities.
"The children on our flights come from various difficult backgrounds. Some have experienced many doctor's appointments, hospital visits, deaths of family members, in and out of foster homes, looking after their siblings, just to name a few. While they get to experience a day at the most magical place on earth with Dreams Take Flight Ottawa, it allows them to be a kid for the day. They often start the day shy and full of worries. While at the park, the volunteers see them blossom. We see them smile as they meet their favourite characters, laugh at the thrill of a rollercoaster ride, experience what Disney does best, creating magical memories that will last a lifetime. For volunteers, seeing the change in these kids is why many of our volunteers return each year. It's to give the kids exactly what they deserve. A day to get away to have fun and leave all their worries behind them," said Angela Guy, president of Dreams Take Flight Ottawa.
The Dreams Take Flight Ottawa Flight Day was the last of 2023. Dreams Take Flight also sees trips take place from Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary, Winnipeg, Toronto, Montreal and Halifax.