DALLAS--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Dallas real estate entrepreneur and philanthropist, Gene E. Phillips offered his private plane for a humanitarian flight to St. Thomas in the US Virgin Islands last week. St. Thomas was recently damaged by Category 5 Hurricane Irma, one of the most powerful hurricanes ever recorded in the Atlantic Ocean. The flight was the first non-military large aircraft to land on the island since before the storm. The final 300 mile approach to the island was made without air traffic control assistance.
“Once we received notice that the flight was approved, we had 72 hours to coordinate donation items to fill the plane,” commented Don Phillips, brother of Gene Phillips. “I enlisted the help of a few coworkers, and by Monday night we had 10,000 pounds of cargo.”
Trusted World’s CEO and Founder, Michael Garrett’s response and turnaround time was less than 24 hours. His organization donated pallets of baby items, cleaning supplies, general hygiene products, flashlights, and batteries. The Hart family of Arlington and the Dwyer family of Dallas also provided a truck full of water and food.
Three firefighters helped unload the plane at St. Thomas’s Cyril E. King Airport. “They were shocked at the amount of useful items that we had carried in, and commented on how much thought had gone into what was sent,” said Joanna McDonald, Flight Attendant. “While unloading, we learned that the firefighters didn’t have much of what they needed either. They didn’t even have toothpaste. There was much excitement and a couple of tears when we shared some of the necessities with them and pulled any extra cokes and snacks off of the plane for them to have.”
In total, the effort was able to bring 21 people from St. Thomas to Atlanta, Georgia and Dallas, Texas. Several passengers were in St. Thomas after Hurricane Irma to help with infrastructure repairs, insurance claim assistance, and general relief when they got stranded due to Hurricane Maria. The other passengers were all St. Thomas residents who lost everything in the storm and were leaving to live with relatives. One special passenger needed immediate evacuation to be able to continue her much needed medical treatments.
“I was happy to lend my resources to get much needed donations to the people of St. Thomas,” stated Gene Phillips. “We were also approved to help people leave the island. Our ability to transport people otherwise unable to leave was such an honor. St. Thomas and its residents still need so much relief and support.”
Gene E. Phillips of Dallas, Texas is the patriarch of one of the Southwest's most prominent and respected families. Not only are they known for their accomplishments in business, but also for their philanthropic commitment to their community. They give generously to both educational and cultural institutions. Gene has been in commercial real estate for more than 40 years and has purchased, managed, developed and sold billions of dollars’ worth of real estate during this time. His philosophy is simple: identify and acquire undervalued or under-performing properties, adding capital improvements, aggressive leasing, and management programs in order to achieve long-term, above-market returns, and produce high quality real estate developments that are economically sound.