Colin Kaepernick helps get airplane to aid starving Somalis

By Alex Butler  |  Updated March 17, 2017 at 9:50 PM
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March 17 (UPI) -- Free agent Colin Kaepernick was looking for a plane this week, but it wasn't to visit a potential NFL team.

He wanted the wings for a special cause: aiding the people of Somalia. So the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback spoke out on social media.

"People are dying in Somalia right now that need our help," Kaepernick said on Facebook. "There is an impending famine because of drought, politics, inaction of NGOs and lack of media attention. This famine will affect 6.2 million people and 2.9 million people are in need of immediate assistance. We can't let this happen, we have to help these people. We are asking Turkish Airlines to allow us to use a plane to fly food, water, and aid to these people. You can help us accomplish this goal by creating a video just like this and using the hashtag, #turkishairlineshelpsomalia. We can help create the change. We can help be the change. Let's make this happen lets help save these lives. We can do this."

Videos flooded all platforms of social media, calling for action.

Turkish Airlines is the only major airline that flies from the United States to Somalia. It agreed to provide the plane on Thursday.

"Amazing news," Kaepernick said in an Instagram video. "Turkish airlines granted us an airplane to fly to Somalia. A 60-ton cargo plane so we can fly there with food, with water for these people. Now we have started a GoFundMe page to allow anyone to help us. Donate food. Donate water. We will make sure every cent goes to helping these people. This is a victory for the people. Victory for the people of Somalia. It was done out of love, out of respect for these people. We wanted to bring structure to this. Now we are going to use the name Love Army for Somalia. So use the hashtag #lovearmyforsomalia. And this is amazing. Lets keep building, lets keep going."

Actor Ben Stiller and his foundation are also behind the movement. The Love Army For Somalia GoFundMe page has more than $410,000 in donations. It has a $1 million goal.

"Not only they are making available a full cargo flight that can fly 60 TONS OF FOOD, but they agreed to let us ship food containers on their commercial aircraft to Somalia, UNTIL THE END OF THE FAMINE," the GoFundMePage says.

"One airplane at a time - one shipment at a time!!!"

Kaepernick, 29, famously knelt down for the national anthem during the 2016 NFL season, but he plans to stand during the pregame ceremony this season. He began the imitative as a protest against police brutality.

Somalia's dire situation led the United Nations to calling it the largest humanitarian crisis since 1945.

The Turkish Airlines plane leaves in 10 days and will be carrying supplies including: rice, vegetable cooking oil, nutritional biscuits, flour, sugar, and porridge.

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