FedEx Donates $5 Million and MD-10 Aircraft to ORBIS International

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NEW YORK— FedEx and ORBIS International, a leading global organization dedicated to saving sight worldwide, kicked off a North American Good Will Tour in Los Angeles last month with the announcement of a new 5-year, $5.375 million commitment in the form of cash and in-kind contributions from FedEx. FedEx Express will donate an MD-10 cargo aircraft to ORBIS to be the third-generation Flying Eye Hospital.

Following the Los Angeles stop, the Flying Eye Hospital will also visit Burlington, Vt., Dallas Fort/Worth, Memphis, Tenn., and Toronto and Ottawa, Canada between August and November to raise public awareness of the need to eliminate avoidable blindness.

“Preventable blindness can be avoided through routine, inexpensive medical procedures and eye care education,” said Dr. Barbara DeBuono, president and CEO of ORBIS International. “Through the support of companies like FedEx and the hundreds of doctors, nurses, technicians, engineers, aviation staff and pilots who have dedicated their considerable time and talents we have been able to save sight for millions of people around the world.”

“FedEx has supported ORBIS for almost three decades, one of our longest-running relationships with a nonprofit,” said James R. Parker, executive vice president, FedEx Express air operations. “We’re taking our work together to the next level by creating the next generation Flying Eye Hospital, which will significantly improve the lives of millions of people around the world who otherwise would have been blind, but now will experience the gift of sight.”

The new Flying Eye Hospital, the world’s only airplane with a fully functioning state-of-the-art eye hospital on board, will be built on an MD-10-30 freighter aircraft and will utilize a modular design concept. The Flying Eye Hospital brings dedicated eyecare professionals from across the world to developing countries to provide two to three weeks of training and state-of-the-art surgical demonstrations.

ORBIS volunteer doctors impart to local doctors, nurses, biomedical engineers and technicians the skills necessary to provide high-quality eye-care to their communities that will prevent and treat avoidable causes of blindness such as cataracts, glaucoma and diabetic retinopathy. Since 1982, ORBIS has conducted programs in more than 85 countries, impacting more than 15 million lives.

FedEx has supported ORBIS for 29 years, almost three decades, providing millions of dollars of support in cash and in-kind contributions. The donation builds on a $5.5 million, five-year commitment that FedEx made to ORBIS starting in 2006.