Aviation firm’s flights will benefit local charity groups

Aviation firm’s flights will  benefit local charity groups
Schubach Aviation is donating one cent for every mile flown to a pair of San Diego County charities this year. Promises2Kids and Shelter to Soldier, which matches dogs and veterans, are the beneficiaries. Courtesy photo

CARLSBAD — One of the city’s leading aviation companies is keeping to its core of giving back.

Schubach Aviation, a private jet charter outfit based at McClellan-Palomar Airport, announced it would donate one cent to every mile flown to a pair of San Diego County charities.

Promises2Kids and Shelter to Soldier are on the receiving end, although the two organizations have been the benefactors of the aviation company’s generosity before.

Promises2Kids works with children in foster care, helping them navigate away from neglect and abuse, mental health issues and providing educational opportunities.

Shelter to Soldier, founded in 2012, pairs a dog from rescue shelters with a veteran, which aids the soldiers with mental conditions such as traumatic brain injuries.

This is the fourth year for Schubach Aviation’s mileage campaign and runs for one year. The company expects to raise at least $12,000 to split between the two groups.

“The majority of our clients are philanthropic,” said Henry Schubach, president of Schubach Aviation. “We are inspired by their generosity and pleased to stand with them in giving back to our community. In addition to the funds generated by miles flown, we will support our two nonprofit partners with special events and other fundraising opportunities throughout the year.”

Promises2Kids CEO Tonya Torosian said the organization began as an awareness charity, but has grown past its original mandate since its founding 35 years ago.

They also raised half the funds to build San Pasqual Academy in Escondido, a school specifically for foster teens. But Promises2Kids primary focus is plugging the gaps for the foster kids with programs such as Camp Connect, which reunites siblings who are separated during the summer program.

“This year we got the call they were expanding their miles program and that we were the other beneficiary,” Torosian said. “It’s huge. It helps support any of the programs.”

Yet another priority is the organization’s scholarship program. Torosian said less than three percent of foster kids advance to higher education nationwide.

For those in Promises2Kids’ program, which funds 100 spots per year, Torosian said the group has an 85 percent success rate, which gives the kids the tools and education to advance to the workplace or higher education.

“We’re only limited by the funds we raise,” she added. “They raise (about $6,000) for each charity. That support for our kids is one year of education. It’s a big deal for us.”

Co-founder Graham Bloem, who never served in the armed forces, said his organization looks to find dogs with the right temperament regardless of the breed. He said typically the dogs range from 10 months to 3 years old, which are then brought into the program and trained.

It takes about 12 to 18 months of training for the canine to become a psychiatric training dog.

During a dog’s training, veterans apply and go through an interview and training process. They meet with several dogs, Bloem said, although a dog or solider are never intentionally paired.

Instead, Bloem said it is best for the canine and veteran to naturally figure out their best fit.

“We have seen amazing stories and results,” Bloem said. “We’ve had seven graduates, which is a total of 14 lives (dogs and veteran) saved. The outcome has been more than we ever envisioned.”

He said the darkness in which the veterans come back to is difficult to address. Bloem said some veterans are afraid to go to the grocery store, or who haven’t left their homes for months, eating junk food and falling into depression.

“The personal growth, sense of self-worth … and sense of safety, those kinds of things are dramatically changing once we’ve match and graduated a team,” Bloem added.

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