Pay it 4ward: Angel Flight pilot carries precious cargo

Posted on: 7:45 pm, October 30, 2013, by , updated on: 01:54pm, October 31, 2013


Wendell Holland is a pilot on a mission. Those who board his plane are often in dire straits.

Like Nikki, she is terminally ill but excited to fly to a special camp. Or like little Reese, traveling with mom to St. Jude Research Hospital.

Debbie Moore “When they’re hurting so badly he gives them some hope,” Debbie Moore says.

Wendell is a volunteer pilot for Angel Flight. He donates his time and plane to transport patients who need medical care elsewhere.

“He had the airplane and he wanted to figure out a way to do something good with it. He learned about Angel flight and it just fit,” Moore explains.

NewsChannel 4’s Linda Cavanaugh says, “All of this is possible because of Spirit Bank, and Faith Clune is here to do the honors.”

“Debbie, thank you so much for your nomination. Angel Flight is such an amazing program. And I just can’t wait to go in and meet Wendell. He’s already paying it forward with his life, that’s for sure,” Faith Clune, of Spirit Bank, says. “On behalf of Spirit Bank and NewsChannel 4 we have $400 to help you Pay It 4ward to Wendell.”

“We’re making our way through Debbie’s house to the backyard and an unsuspecting Wendell. He’s in his blue shirt. His wife Caree joins us,” Linda Cavanaugh says. “We have a program called Pay It 4ward and Debbie nominated you and Caree as recipients of this week’s Pay it 4ward and she’d like to tell you why.”

Debbie Moore “Wendell, you and Caree are the most generous people I know. I just appreciate so much what you do and all the pilots for Angel Flight. And I want to Pay It Forward and give you $400”

“Thank you. It’s going to the fuel tank on the next mission,” Wendell says laughingly.

Wendell Holland has donated more than 160 missions so far. He was named the Angel Flight pilot of the year three years running.

“When I normally fly this plane our call is normally when we have a passenger on board for an Angel Flight, our call sign is compassion,” Wendell says. “I think that word says a lot about what we do and what we bring to people’s live.”

He brings relief to those who so badly need a helping hand.

Like Christina; only 40-years-old battling cancer or Shirley, who became a friend until she lost her battle with cancer.

Wendell and his passengers soar 300 miles an hour towards their destinations; so close to the heavens.

“They’re God’s precious cargo and we’ve been entrusted to carry them,” Wendell says.

Wendell urges other pilots willing to donate their time and plane to contact angelflight.com. You’ll be able to change lives in ways you never imagined.

If you’d like to nominate someone for our our Pay it 4ward award you can nominate them here.