United partners with Convoy of Hope to deliver 24K pounds of aid to Hawaii

Much needed supplies were loaded onto a United flight at O’Hare Airport on Wednesday en route to Maui to help humanitarian efforts in the wake of devastating wildfires.

United Airlines is partnering with the humanitarian and faith-based organization Convoy of Hope for a large shipment.

"We've been flying there for 75 years, so it's a deep part of our history and our culture," said Omar Idris, vice president of United's O'Hare hub.

The shipment includes 24,000 pounds of non-perishable food, baby items including formula, toiletries, and sheltering supplies.


Jenny Torner, a humanitarian program manager with United's nonprofit partner Airlink, said during the early stages of such a disaster that responsible donation must be practiced.

"That means ensuring that the most important items are going first and we're not overwhelming local resources," said Torner.

"We're dealing with a tragedy there that has a lot of tentacles to it. There are some basic human needs that this initial shipment's fulfilling as mentioned," said Idris. "Everything from baby supplies to socks, to tarps, to food, to baby care kits, shampoo, toothpaste. Basic needs are what's being transported on this flight today, of this 24,000 pounds."

The plane will also pick up passengers in Denver before landing in Hawaii.

Since the wildfires began, United alone with Airlink have been able to help 12,000 people get off the island and have transported aid workers back to Maui.

United has also reduced fares for people trying to get off the island and issued waivers to help customers with their travel plans into next month.