Private pilots airlift school supplies from ABIA for youngest Harvey victims

People load donated school supplies onto private planes at Austin Bergstrom International Airport on Saturday, Sept. 9, 2017, for delivery to Port Arthur, one of the cities devastated by Hurricane Harvey. (KXAN Photo: Kyle Kovilaritch)
People load donated school supplies onto private planes at Austin Bergstrom International Airport on Saturday, Sept. 9, 2017, for delivery to Port Arthur, one of the cities devastated by Hurricane Harvey. (KXAN Photo: Kyle Kovilaritch)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — More than two dozen pilots took off from Austin Bergstrom International Airport Saturday morning to make a special delivery.

At least 25 airplanes were packed with school supplies going to some of the youngest Harvey victims in Port Arthur, Beaumont and surrounding areas.

The organizers of the airlift said Port Arthur’s police chief told them that in a normal year, local teachers spend between $1,500 and $1,800 of their own money on supplies for their students.

“We were looking for something to help the hurricane victims, and this seemed like the perfect thing to do — tie aviation into it and be able to help a lot of families,” said pilot Jeff Kelly.

Signature Flight Support and Aerobridge in Austin organized the airlift of the school supplies and said they wanted to focus on these areas because they are the most economically challenged. Boy Scouts and others helped them load the supplies onto the planes.

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