Metro State students, pilots and volunteers airlift food, toys and supplies for veterans and their families

Metro State University students, pilots and volunteers loaded food, toys and supplies into more than two dozen aircraft at the Centennial Airport on Sunday.

It was all part of the annual VFW Charity Airlift.

Mitchell Johnson is on the Metro State flight team, and he’s volunteering his time, aircraft, and fuel costs to help deliver much-needed relief to veterans and their families.

“I think we have about seven thousand pounds of food and supplies going out today,” said Johnson. “So, we’re all very excited to come out and get to both, kind of mashing our hobby and our passion for aviation, with being able to help people throughout the holidays.”

For 12 years, the VFW Charity Airlift has worked with the Colorado Aviation Business Association and Metro State’s Precision and Aerobatics flight teams to make the event happen. And this isn’t just any donation drop, its focus is getting to those people in rural communities, which many times are hard to reach.

“We get so many donations here within the metro area, but our rural communities are really underserved, so we found a way as pilots, one that we can give back to our community, by collecting donations here in the metro area, and then providing them,” said Chris Swathwood, with CABA. “That’s really what we want our students to see, not only is it the career and future but aviation can be used in such a positive way to really help support our country and our community.”

Sunday’s special flight is taking Johnson to Pueblo, and he’s hoping his kindness and the kindness of others will go far beyond.

“Do your part, and as a whole, you can make a difference,” he said.