At least once or twice a year, most of us are able to spend time with our loved ones - reconnect, share, laugh with grandparents, siblings, children, aunts & uncles, cousins, parents, and good friends. During holidays, special occasions or in times of sickness & need, we have the resources to visit the people who are most important to us.
Unfortunately, for many low wage workers often residing thousands upon thousands of miles from the people they love, its not so easy to see each other.
When low income families are struggling to pay the rent and buy food, spending money on a plane ticket is simply an impossibility. Countless families spend too many years apart - unable to travel due to finances, which is often made more difficult by restrictive immigration policies.
Hello Vuelo uses crowdfunding & airline miles donations (minimum 10,000 miles) to purchase flights to reunite low income families. We connect families & friends who want to give with families & friends who are in need of support.
"Vuelo" means flight in Spanish and so our project - Hello Vuelo - means a flight to say hello to loved ones and reunite. All donations are tax-deductible.
My name is Diana Muchira. I was born in Kenya in November 1981, and raised in comfortable middle-class Nairobi. My upbringing was very typical, and my parents were very supportive of my four older siblings and me. I married my husband David in May 2002, and we have two children together: Natalie (born July 2000) and Dylan (born June 2010).
Our happy, peaceful life came to an end in 2011 when my brothers joined an ethnocentric gang, which formed in the late 1980s and espouses anti-Western and anti-Christian values. Because this gang colludes with the Kenyan government, it has impunity. This gang seeks to return our ethnic group to its interpretation of our pre-colonial traditions.
One of the practices that this gang seeks to spread is female circumcision. My parents did not circumcise my sisters and me, and my brothers considered this an affront to our culture. It was a difficult, but easy decision to leave Kenya. I needed to save myself, but I couldn’t bring my husband or children with me because none had visas or even passports. READ MORE. . .
My name is Ah Lan and I came to the U.S from Toisan, China in 2002. For 7 years now, I have been an active committee member of the Chinese Progressive Association’s Tenant Worker Center fighting to protect low cost housing in San Francisco. I was once employed but due to workplace injuries, I’ve been unable to work for the past 8 years. At the restaurant, I would work about 10 - 11 hours. I would do everything from food preparation to cleaning. I would only get one day off. I constantly had to handle a lot of frozen food and it wasn’t always under the safest conditions. This injured my hands and to this day, I am unable to really lift anything heavy.
My husband is the sole provider for my family and he makes less than $20,000/year. My grandparents raised me like my parents and I have not seen them in over 7 years - they are in China. I’m very close to them and we can talk about anything. They are both elderly so I hope one day to be able to move them to the U.S to take care of them.
I would like to travel in March 2016 for my nephew's wedding with either my husband, if he can take time off of work, or one of my daughters. Thank you for helping bring my family together on this important occasion.
My name is Selegen Ayele. I left Ethiopia with my eldest child Miky when my youngest son Yanet was only three months and my daughter Selamawit was only 3 years old. My wife Meseret is the bravest person I know because she suddenly became the sole caregiver to a newborn and a young child. Because seven-thousand miles separate us, I missed Yanet’s first steps and his first words. I missed Selamawit’s first day of school. Of course, I speak with my children and Meseret often, but it is no substitute for seeing and holding them. I feel like half of my heart is in Ethiopia and half of my heart is in the United States. My wife and children are now able to join me in the U.S. and after six years of living apart, my heart will be whole again. I work as a limousine driver in New York City. I don’t earn much, and what I do earn is sent to my wife and two youngest children in Ethiopia. READ MORE. . .
When I was 14, my father passed away. At the time, my older sister was working alone in Hong Kong financially supported my education. She worked really hard, never married, and later became a top teacher at a local middle school. Unfortunately, she grew sick not long after and waited futilely for a kidney transplant for more than 10 years. She never received a transplant and passed away 2 years ago. I could not afford to go see her before she passed away or be there at her funeral. My sister was sincere, hard-working, and always willingly to go out of her way to help people. She was like a parent to me. I love my sister and want to honor her memory with my visit. READ MORE. . .
Established community & legal aid organizations such as African Services Committee nominate low wage workers or their family members - we call them "Travelers" - for free trips through Hello Vuelo.
We work with community organizations so they can vet individual’s stories and ensure that they are in need of support. Travelers are from low income families with a joint family income of $50,000 or less (for family of four) and generally fall into the following categories:
there is a sudden health issue in the family and a low income family member cannot afford a trip to visit
there is a milestone event coming up (birth of a child, wedding, funeral) and the low income family member cannot afford to attend
These nominated low wage workers or their family members go up on our website with their profile and pictures so people can read their stories. For each Traveler, we recruit a primary fundraiser - their "Flight Crew" - who will take the lead in fundraising for the trip but allow any person to donate miles (minimum one way flight) or money to any trip.
ALL DONATIONS ARE TAX DEDUCTIBLE!
If you would like to be a lead fundraiser for a trip, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Hello Vuelo is a volunteer run non-profit organization - all donations go directly towards trips to reunite low income families. We are a small group of people who believe low wages should not keep families apart and wanted to do something about it.
We partner with media companies, including Time of Day Media - a progressive media cooperative, to produce video/graphic content.
Hello Vuelo collaborates with amazing partner groups organizing low income communities for fair economic and immigration policies to select Travelers whose trips we fund. These are a few of the incredible organizations we are working with:
Make the Road New York builds the power of Latino and working class communities to achieve dignity and justice through organizing, policy innovation, transformative education, and survival services.
The National Domestic Workers Alliance (NDWA) is the nation’s leading voice for dignity and fairness for the millions of domestic workers in the United States, most of whom are women.
Founded in 1972, the Chinese Progressive Association educates, organizes and empowers the low income and working class immigrant Chinese community in San Francisco to build collective power with other oppressed communities to demand better living and working conditions and justice for all people.
African Services Committee is a non-profit organization dedicated to improving the health and self-sufficiency of the African community in New York City and beyond.
Are you an organization that works with low wage workers and/or low income families? Do you have members who are unable to see their loved ones due to finances? Please contact us at email@example.com