Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) coach operators Nelson Rosenberg and Joseph Levy both share some things in common.
They both drive buses for a living but are also pilots and have lost loved ones to terminal illnesses.
In December 2009, Rosenberg and Levy came together to establish the Hope Wings Foundation.
The Hope Wings Foundation is an Irvine-based non-profit organization which provides children will terminal illnesses such as cancer and leukemia free air transport to medical facilities throughout southern California at absolutely no cost to their families.
“I lost my third child and my parents to cancer,” said Rosenberg, the founder of the organization and a licensed pilot of 20 years. “I love kids and I felt this is a good way to give back and help others who are suffering from ailments that affect their lives.”
Levy, a fellow OCTA coach operator who works with Rosenberg, experienced similar tragic losses that resulted in the two coming together to help others.
“I’ve also lost loved ones to terminal illnesses,” Levy said. “As a student pilot with 10 years experience, Nelson and I decided to put our piloting experiences to good use to help save the lives of sick children out there.”
As a member of the Freemason society, this compelled Levy even more to really take actions to help others.
“As a member of the Freemason society, my goal is to help as many people as I can,” Levy said. “Providing a way to reduce the stress and burden of families who have terminally ill children by getting their children to where they need to go to get better is how we like to give back to society.”
For the month of December, the foundation is hosting the Kids for Kids campaign. All funds donated in the month of December will go towards purchasing toys and gifts to children in hospitals throughout Orange County.
For more information on the Hope Wings Foundation and how you can make a contribution to the foundation, please visit http://www.hopewings.org.
On a personal note, I personally donated $100 to the organization earlier this month. After interviewing both Levy and Rosenberg, I was very inspired by everything they had to say. They run a good service for children and I would encourage everyone to contribute to this cause during this holiday season.