As things have gotten more an more difficult for our aviation families to navigate during these uncertain times, I have continuously been on my knees praying for opportunities to support you in any way I can. My simple plea throughout this and despite our own ongoing trials and uncertainties has been, “Lord, send me.”
This afternoon as I was attempting to help connect a stranded crew who could not get food in a city that has been locked down, I had an epiphany. And so…welcome to Assist-A-Sis – one of the ways I am trying to help our aviation community survive the day.
WHAT IS ASSIST-A-SIS?
This is my new method of connecting members of our aviation family who are in need with other members of our aviation family in that area who are willing to assist with the need. I am currently focusing strictly on the immediate problem that was brought to my attention – crews that are being stranded at airports in cities where restaurants have been closed down and there is no sustenance for them. While I know this is not true of every airport or city, it is a growing concern in many. I would rather have it up and running today so that it exists if and when it is needed instead of not having it at all if someone is stranded and hungry. So here we go!
HOW DOES IT WORK:
The ‘service’, for lack of better words, will be run strictly through my app. This will ensure that outside entities are not controlling what is shared with your or what gets back to me due to algorithms and social media jail, such that we are constantly communicating with our people. It will also give some level of protection, as trolls cannot just happen upon the forms on social media and send bogus requests. Please go to the app store at THE PILOT WIFE LIFE and download the free app to your device today. If you find yourself unexpectedly stranded without food, you simply will go to the QRH icon and then choose the Assist-A-Sis option from there. Choose the crew meal assist icon and you will be asked to fill out a simple form with the information that will be necessary in order for us to attempt to connect you to a volunteer. When you submit the form, it will be sent immediately to myself and to my new volunteer Assist-A-Sis coordinator, Karen. (Thank you, Karen, for willingly taking on this roll!).
Karen will take the provided information and search our list of volunteers to see if there are any available in your area. If so, she will contact them and see if one of them is available to meet the request. If we have an available volunteer, she will then forward your information to that volunteer who will then contact you via the information you have provided. He or she will discuss your needs and come up with a plan to bring you and if necessary members of your crew a meal. It may be a sandwich and some chips or it may be a hot meal, but it will be food! The content will be up to our amazing volunteers who are giving of their own time and resources to help strangers out of love for this community via their discussion with you.
Please note that I am supporting the delivery of meals only to extremely public places such as the front desk or lobby of the hotel or airport. This is a volunteer connection service only and not a guarantee of availability. We will, however, make sure to notify you if we do not have an available volunteer in the area.
WHO CAN GET SOME HELP?
Please note: I named it Assist-A-Sis because this is a Pilot Wife community. Oh, and it was catchy and that feeds my inner nerd. However, male and female crew members are welcome to use this opportunity. It is not only for pilots but for the flight attendants, dead headers, or other crew members as well. Please use this opportunity with discretion and only if there are no other options available to you, as my volunteers are using their own time and resources and driving up to 2 hours to bring you a meal. If you have options available or have brought your own trip food, please utilize that instead and save this service for other stranded crews that have exhausted all options including Uber Eats and restaurant delivery. Please also consider paying it forward by signing up to be volunteer family as well.
WHO ARE THE VOLUNTEERS?
I am compiling a list of [mostly] amazing aviation men and women who are willing to help a fellow TPWL brother or sister in need. At the current time, there are only two of us who will see your contact information, myself and Karen, and we will absolutely NOT be giving it out to anyone who requests assistance. Once you are on the list as a volunteer, you are good to go! If a need should arise in your area, Karen or possibly myself will contact you via the email and phone number that you have provided to see if you are currently able to assist. We will NOT have random strangers calling you and asking for help. If it is not one of us, please do not respond to the request and let me know immediately! You will also not need to feel obligated or pressured to say yes to someone if you are not able, as it is just she and I. You can deny any request or ask to be removed from the volunteer list at any time.
Once you have made plans with the requester, you can drop off the food at the agreed upon location. Please note, I am supporting the delivery of meals ONLY to very public places for the safety of everyone. Though you are not bound by my rules and can use your own discretion to make safe choices. Some of our volunteers even have rooms they are comfortable offering up. Your safety is very important to me and I simply ask that you use utmost discretion and do only what feels safe and comfortable to you.
I also ask that you take appropriate precautions with regards to COVID19 protocol when preparing as well as delivering food for others. If you or anyone in your family is sick, please do not accept a meal delivery request. When delivering, please take appropriate steps as suggested by the CDC to keep yourself and your family safe. Front desk drop off is completely acceptable.
If you are interested in being added to the volunteer list, you will need to download the app below, go to the QRH icon, and then click on the Assist-A-Sis link. You can find it from there! Fill out the form and you will be added to our list.
WHAT KINDS OF FOOD AND NOTICE?
As for food, I am leaving this up to the volunteer. For safety, we will ask if the requester has any allergies or dietary restrictions such as diabetes (you can also take this into consideration when accepting a request). Outside that, anything from sandwiches and chips to snacks to television dinners to a home cooked hot meal to takeout is appropriate. I am completely leaving the details up to you. Of course, you can discuss it with the requester when you make contact.
Because of the nature of aviation, which you all understand only too well, we cannot predict who, when, or where a need will arise. Notice will probably be relatively short. I don’t anticipate the overall need being overwhelming at this time, but things are changing fast, so who knows. If you want to cook a hot meal, that is up to you. My goal is simply to make connection of need and desire to help possible. Everything else is up to the parties involved in each transaction. However, I think short notice foods such as sandwiches, deli rolls, salads, snack foods, donuts, etc. are quick and easy. They are not looking for gourmet, but just to fill their tummies in a pinch! I am sure they will be grateful.
Once this is off and rolling, I see a really fantastic use for this as we move toward the future. I would love to see Pilot Wives connecting with other Pilot Wives in their communities to meet their needs. I will eventually roll out Assist-A-Sis requests where perhaps a pregnant PW can get help watching a child for a maternity appointment or a sick PW can have food dropped off at her door when she cannot go out…etc. I believe the possibilities are endless, and I cannot think of a better way to strengthen this community than by serving one another selflessly in love. We feel far too alone in this life, and I am hoping this will make us feel just a little bit less so.
WHAT IF THERE IS NO NEED?
That’s totally okay! Even if we never have a single person that needs to use this service, it is there. And sometimes the best thing we can do for one another is offer hope through availability. Just knowing that there are so many other ladies (and gents) living this life with us who are willing to stand beside us when we are in a tight spot fosters hope like nothing else. And if one single person goes to bed with a full tummy instead of an empty one…then I count it all worthwhile. Don’t you?
I love you, family. I hope that this brings a little peace into the chaos that we are facing and at least lets you know that we are truly in this together.
I am simply providing a junction between a need and a person willing to fill it. This is not a ministry or paid service of TPWL. Everyone who uses this connection service is responsible for their own well-being and is encouraged to use discretion and never do anything that makes them feel uncomfortable or puts them in harm’s way. The Pilot Wife Life as an entity as well as myself personally are not responsible for the health, safety, and decisions of anyone choosing to use or volunteer for or use this connection resource. I simply see people with needs, people that want to help, and a way I can bring them together more efficiently for the better good. I am not making any money from this endeavor. It has not been endorsed or funded by anyone. The tools I am using to connect you are all my own and funded by me. I am simply trying to make the crazy world a little bit better. Please be patient with the process and the people. We are all trying to learn as we go, and this is new to us all.
Angelia (a fellow Pilot Wife)