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Wings of Hope receives $1 million gift

The Wings of Hope Soaring to New Heights Endowment Campaign recently received a boost thanks to a $1 million gift from the William R. Orthwein, Jr. and Laura Rand Orthwein Foundation, growing the endowment to nearly $8 million and moving it closer to its $10 million phase-one goal.

“We are beyond grateful for this important gift and the generosity of the Orthwein family,” Bret Heinrich, Wings of Hope president and CEO, said. “This is a major gift for Wings of Hope but even more meaningful for the countless families and children whose lives will be forever changed for the better because of it.”

The goal of the endowment campaign is to provide Wings of Hope, a Chesterfield-based nonprofit, the capital to secure the planes and resources needed to expand the organization’s Medical Relief & Air Transport [MAT] program–allowing it to serve 50% more people with free transportation to health care.

“My family has deep roots in the St. Louis community and we are committed to caring for it,” Foundation President Nettie O. Dodge said. “The Foundation made a significant initial investment in Wings of Hope in 2007 and a more significant additional investment in 2010 for the same reason we are investing in their endowment today. We believe in Wings of Hope and its mission. Our investment in Wings of Hope today will help to ensure that they will be able to provide their excellent services well into the future.”

Senator Elizabeth Dole, honorary chair of the endowment campaign, also praised Wings of Hope and its network of support programs.

“By providing free medical air transportation, they lighten the immense burden families shoulder when caring for loved ones in serious medical crises,” Dole said. “They replace helplessness with hope and give families the support they need to navigate what can be a long and terrifying road to healing.”

Wings of Hope, headquartered in Chesterfield, utilizes aviation and volunteer efforts to bring care and resources to isolated communities in need across the globe. In the U.S., they provide free medical air transport services to individuals in need of specialized medical care. The organization also works with in-country partners in countries around the world to fly people in remote areas to emergency medical care and fly doctors into communities with no local health care. 

Wings of Hope has been twice nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. In 2018, they served over 67,000 people worldwide.

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