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More than 60 Delta Volunteers Join Forces to Build Houses in Chile

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More than 60 Delta Air Lines employees and two customers are trading their laptops and cell phones for hammers and saws during a voluntourism trip to Chile between 7-14 November 2008. The team will construct 12 homes during a Habitat for Humanity project in Casablanca, located 43 miles west of Santiago, Chile’s capital.

The trip is made possible by Delta’s Force for Global Good through which Delta customers, community partners and employees, including new colleagues from Northwest Airlines, work together to effect positive local and global change. For some, the trip to Chile will be their second or third Delta/Habitat for Humanity build.

“Our partnership with Habitat for Humanity makes a difference in and around destinations we serve, creating a positive and direct impact on the development of communities that have welcomed us into their country,” said Edward H. Bastian, president of Delta and president and CEO for Northwest. “It is amazing to see teams from all over the United States and Chile come together to build homes, improving people’s lives and enriching our own through the spirit of giving.”

Delta has been involved in similar projects in South Africa, Ghana and India. Within the United States, Delta’s Force for Global Good volunteers have also built houses in New York, Mississippi and Georgia.

Since 2002, Habitat for Humanity Chile has trained and organized more than 100 national and international teams to build homes in partnership with 3,500 families in five regions of the country through its “Building Houses Without Limits” program. Habitat for Humanity Chile also works with mothers who are heads of an household to provide them workshops that cover topics such as home economics and small business administration.

“The generous participation of national and international volunteers is the key for what we do, which goes beyond building homes,” said Yolanda Rojas, program director of Habitat for Humanity Chile. “We appreciate Delta’s enthusiastic contributions in helping us improve the living conditions of families in Casablanca.”

Delta volunteers will be joined by Thomas Harley of Pompano Beach, Fla., a Delta SkyMiles member who bid 261,000 miles in an online auction to win the voluntourism package. The miles will be donated to Habitat for Humanity and will add to the more than 8 million frequent flyer miles that have been donated through Delta and Northwest in recent years. Harley invited friend Bryan Tanori to accompany him on the trip and participate on the build.

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