Canada Welcomed Delta Flight Borderless

On 9/11, Canada Welcomed Delta Flight 15 With Open Arms

This is what happens when empathy conquers ignorance.

It was 9/11, 2001 and Delta Flight 15 was on its way home to the US from Germany when it got the call to land immediately. The closest airport was Gander, somewhere in Canada. They landed along with 37 other planes who’d received the same alert and started playing the waiting game. The travelers were just stuck in the terminal, confused and worried.

What they didn’t expect was that Gander and the surrounding area – called Lewisporte (with a population barely larger than the number of stranded plane passengers) – would come to the rescue. In comfort and style, no less. Lewisporte shut down all schools and public places to make time and space for the travelers. They fed them, offered laundry and medical services, and even took folks out to tour the town.

 

Gander residents feed Flight 115
Gander residents feed Flight 115. Source: Wikipedia

 

When it was time to leave, Shirley Brooks-Jones, a passenger from Flight 15, remembers: “Everybody was crying. I mean, the men and the women, I mean, the passengers, the little kids. We didn’t want to leave, you know?”

Shirley was so moved that she decided to start an education fund right there at the departure gate. She named it the Lewisporte Flight 15 Scholarship Fund, and all proceeds would be used to send Lewisporte students to college and trade schools. That day, in the terminal, they raised more than $15,000. Now, it has raised upwards of 2 million. The fund has radically changed the future for local students, many of whom were dropping out of school. Now, several students are doctors or on their way to getting PhDs.

This story is a solid reminder that no matter how overwhelming the world might feel sometimes, we all share something profound – the experience of being human.

 

Flight passengers staying in a Gander gymnasium
Flight passengers staying in a Gander gymnasium for the night. Photo: Scott Cook / Canadian Press

 

Kid's toy revolution Borderless

There’s a Revolution Happening in the Toy World

With the holidays fast approaching, here are a few inclusive gift ideas and a little good cheer to boot.

Toy companies are finally starting to offer more inclusive doll options. People of color and those with disabilities have been historically underrepresented in the toy aisles, so this is a big win for kids.

Studies show that poor representation in a child’s toy selection can lead to a negative psychological impact. Giving kids dolls with varied ethnicities and abilities will likely increase their capacity for empathy in real life. This makes sense.

In a society where people of color and people with varied abilities are often are pushed to the side or left out of the conversation, it’s important to give a shout out to those that are working (and playing) hard to restore balance. Here are a few companies doing great work:

Melanites

This killer new startup – the first-ever line of boy dolls of color – invites all kids in on doll play. Because, honestly, who doesn’t want in on slumber parties and wild adventures in fantasyland with a mini-me. For even more details you can read our story on them.

Toy Like Me

Toy Like Me is an organization advocating for the toy industry to get more woke. They offer resources where you can get bespoke dolls made with, say, the exact birthmarks or prosthetics, that a real kid has.

 

 

Weesie Pals

Weesie pals are customizable stuffed animals with cleft lips or microtia – a congenital deformity where the ear is underdeveloped.

American Girl

Yep, that’s correct. American Girl is on it when it comes to inclusive toys. Their dolls can have crutches, allergy-free lunch sets, mini-hearing aids and pretend diabetes kids.

 

Dominika poses with her American Girl doll
Dominika poses with her American Girl doll, who also has a hearing aid. Photo: Kevin Irvine/NPR

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