Category Archives: Making a Difference

A Year of Giving Back

Hanna Hansen
Corporate Communications Coordinator

HabitatThe Spirit of SkyWest has always been its people. Never has that been more evident than in 2017, when teams came together to give back to deserving causes around the SkyWest system as well as help team members who faced unforeseen tragedies.

From helping build homes alongside Habitat for Humanity to mark 45 years of flying, to softening the impact of Hurricane Harvey through donating to SkyWest’s non-profit organization, the SOS: Crisis Fund, SkyWest people showed what truly makes the airline great.

Through events around the system, SkyWest people made a positive impact: donating over 85,000 hours building homes alongside Habitat for Humanity; bringing the miracle of flight to 50 special passengers as part of a first-ever Wings for Autism event in California; raising money for The Special Olympics in the ultimate tug of war competition: pulling an Airbus A300 weighing nearly 180,000 pounds; introducing the excitement of aviation to girls aged 8-17 in multiple locations as part of Girls in Aviation Day; proudly displaying what it is we do day-in-and-day-out to SkyWest children at Bring our Kids to Work Day; supporting the fight against breast cancer; donating meals to those in need; and of course, banding together in relief efforts to help SkyWest’s own who were impacted by the hurricanes, fires and other unforeseen tragedies of 2017.

The year of giving didn’t stop there. SkyWest people also provided SkyWest Scholarship funds toGirlsInAviation 45 outstanding students, brought the joy of the holidays to children in need, and shared life-changing experiences with our passengers.

It’s these and stories like them that have shaped 2017 and 45 years of flight at SkyWest. We look forward to 2018 and the opportunities it holds for continuing to give back where SkyWest people live and work across the country.

SkyWest Team Provides Thousands of Meals through Holiday Donations

Jenna Graham
Corporate Communications Coordinator

12-19_Utah-Food-Bank_Executives-5SkyWest people have worked all year long to give back in our communities as we celebrate 45 years of flying, making 2017 one of our most giving years ever. As we wrap up a year that has included building houses with Habitat for Humanity in Salt Lake City, Denver, Chicago, and Los Angeles; donating thousands to support Hurricane Harvey victims; giving $45,000 for the SkyWest Scholarship Fund and transporting some very special passengers to the North Pole, SkyWest team members got in the spirit of giving once more this December, raising more than $15,000 for the Utah Food Bank, including a dollar-for-dollar match from the SkyWest, Inc. C-suite!The donation will have a large impact on fighting hunger, providing nearly 55,700 meals for those in need this holiday season and beyond.

“Not only have we had an incredible year operationally, we’ve also had a tremendous year of giving back,” said SkyWest Vice President of People Lori Hunt. “The giving hearts of our people is another attribute that sets SkyWest people apart as the best in the industry. Thank you all for your generous time, volunteering and donations to help others both inside and outside the SkyWest team.”

The Utah Food Bank, a member of the nationwide network, Feeding America, feeds 392,000 children, families and seniors who are unsure of where their next meal will come from. They are 12-19_Utah-Food-Bank_Executives-22 (002)one of several food banks that delivers food to their partner agencies free of charge and are a member of the nation’s leading domestic hunger-relief network.

A huge thank you to everyone who contributed and joined the fight against hunger! You can continue to make donations to the Utah Food Bank through the SkyWest team page by clicking here.

Pilot and Son’s Story Comes Full Circle at SkyWest Flight to the North Pole

Caitlin Miller
People Programs Coordinator

12_09-MKE-FantasyFlight_00150When Chicago-based CRJ Captain Tim Schuh heard about the opportunity to serve as crew on the SkyWest-sponsored Flight to the North Pole benefiting children with life-threatening illness in the Milwaukee area, he immediately volunteered to serve as Captain of the special flight.  He was eager to give back after his personal experience at the Milwaukee Children’s Hospital with his own infant son.

“Our time in the Milwaukee Children’s Hospital NICU, spending all day sitting by our baby, feeling helpless, was the most difficult month of our lives,” Captain Schuh remembers. “I know how the other families are feeling. Even though Oliver has obstacles to overcome, many of the other families are dealing with even more difficult prognoses.”

Captain Schuh and his wife were expecting their first child earlier this year.  At their 20-week ultrasound appointment, they were planning on discovering the gender when they learned their baby had spina bifida. Spina bifida is a birth defect in which a developing baby’s spinal cord fails to develop properly. The effects are lifelong. As a result of spina bifida, the baby also had hydrocephalus, which is a buildup of fluid in the brain. image5

On Aug. 25, 2017, their son, Oliver, was born. Within 12 hours of his birth, he had surgery on his back to close the damaged area. While he was healing, he contracted meningitis, making surgery to address the hydrocephalus impossible until he recovered from that infection. To provide temporary relief to the pressure in his head, an orange tube was placed from his head to an exterior bag. Finally, once the meningitis healed, baby Oliver was able to undergo the secondary surgery to relieve the hydrocephalus.

Captain Schuh and his wife were finally able to take their son home on Sept. 27 and he is doing well. They are grateful to the Milwaukee Children’s Hospital for everything they did for their family, including several lifesaving operations and treatments all while keeping them informed and teaching them everything they needed to know along the way.

“I wanted to help with the Milwaukee Flight to the North Pole because it is a small thing I am able to do to help the kids and families going through difficult times,” Captain Schuh said.

12_09-MKE-FantasyFlight_00216The efforts of Captain Schuh and the rest of the SkyWest volunteers at the Milwaukee Flight to the North Pole helped brighten the holidays for children and their families going through the toughest of times. These team members are shining examples of the giving spirit of SkyWest people.

Read more about SkyWest’s Flight to the North Pole.

Find out how to join the SkyWest team.

 

SkyWest Flies Children to “North Pole”

Hanna Hansen
Corporate Communications Coordinator

Pure joy and merriment filled the Colorado Springs, Colorado (COS) and Milwaukee, Wisconsin (MKE) airports this weekend as SkyWest crews flew more than 100 children to a special destination not found on any route map: the North Pole.

SkyWest Fantasy Flight – COS
At the 11th annual Fantasy Flight, SkyWest crews gave Rudolph the night off, welcoming 30 eager children onboard a CRJ200 for a 30-minuite flight to the “North Pole.” Partnering the Junior League of Colorado Springs and CPCD…giving children a head start, the night spread holiday cheer to children who live at or below poverty level.

IMG_3149“Fantasy Flight brings a magical atmosphere of wonder and cheer to the children in Colorado Springs,” said Lori Hunt, SkyWest’s vice president of People. “Every year, SkyWest people are delighted to play a part in creating this unforgettable event.”

These young passengers, many of whom would otherwise receive little to nothing on Christmas morning, were greeted by mascots, carolers as well as Santa and Mrs. Claus themselves as they enjoyed crafts, games, a festive meal and gifts from their wish lists in a Christmas wonderland created by volunteers. The goal of the event: to provide memories of happiness and cheer for each of the children involved.

“This is a special experience that not everyone gets to have, we feel so privileged,” said Rebecca Brown whose son Ryman participated in the event. “As soon as we found out he was invited, he started flying around pretending to be an airplane. The whole thing has been a great time and experience.”

The Flight to the North Pole – MKEMKE FF
The Flight to the North Pole helped brighten the season for 72 children from Milwaukee Children’s Hospital suffering from serious illness and their families as they boarded a SkyWest CRJ700 and took a 20-minute ride to the “North Pole” (a nearby hangar decked out in holiday style!). While it never left the ground, the festive ride provided much needed smiles and wonderment to the tiny passengers.

The event meant a little something more to the captain operating the special flight, Captain Tim Schuh, who’s newborn son spent several weeks at Milwaukee’s Children’s Hospital this past summer.

“We are so thankful for everything Children’s Hospital did for our family,” said Captain Schuh. “They did several life -saving operations and treatments and were always so good at keeping us informed and teaching us everything we had to know. I wanted to take part in this event because it is a small thing that I am able to do to help the kids and the families that are going through difficult times there. I know how they are feeling. Even though my son has obstacles to overcome in life, many of the families at Children’s are dealing with even more difficult news and prognosis.”IMG_3143

Both events, made possible through the hard work of SkyWest elves and countless volunteers from various other organizations, welcomed in the warmth of the holiday season providing a day full of Christmas magic to all in attendance! These events are another example of the many ways SkyWest people brighten the journey of passengers young and old.

Take a look at more photos from the events!

Chicago Habitat for Humanity Family Welcomed Home

Hanna Hansen
Corporate Communications Coordinator

A grateful family of five was recently welcomed home for the first time at a Chicago Habitat for Humanity home dedication; a house SkyWest people worked together to help build.
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“This home means peace of mind. You never know what the future will bring, but we’ll know [our kids and grandkids] always have a home to go to,” said Shuanta and Mike Sampson, beneficiaries of the new Habitat home.

Volunteers, Habitat staff, donors and community members were all in attendance to welcome the Sampson family home with a ceremonial ribbon cutting, handing over of the keys and home tour. Messay Kedida, one of the Sampson’s new neighbors and fellow Habitat beneficiary said, “The excitement you feel leading up to getting your house is nothing like the excitement you feel when you’re in your new home with your family – especially over the holidays.”636459206902639183

Over the past few months, SkyWest teams have been working alongside Habitat for Humanity to help build homes around the system in celebration of 45 years of flying. David Chudy of Habitat for Humanity Chicago said, “It’s great to see SkyWest employees come together to help with Habitat Chicago’s vision to build strong communities and provide housing. Volunteers are instrumental. Thank you to SkyWest!”

SkyWest is happy to support initiatives that encourage employees to give back. Learn more about joining the SkyWest team.

 

 

SkyWest People Support the Fight Against Breast Cancer!

Caitlin Miller
People Programs Coordinator

Last month was Breast Cancer Awareness month and SkyWest employees from around the system teamed up to support the fight and bring awareness through generous donations and events!

Image 2Throughout the month, team members donated to the American Cancer Society for a chance to win a SkyWest CRJ200 aircraft model and SkyWest matrix jacket. Congratulations to Chicago CRJ Captain Taylor Hinson, who came away with the aircraft model, valued at $300, and ERJ First Officer Benjamin Ruth, who will take home the matrix jacket!

At the 2017 Komen Colorado Race for the Cure, employees on team “Denver Flyers” got moving for the cause, gathering donations and participating in a 5K event. At SkyWest headquarters, employees got busy in the kitchen, making treats for the annual bake sale and cooking up chili for the competitive Chili Cook-Off! While the competition was hot, hundreds of dollars were raised to benefit the American Cancer Society. Image 1

And of course, what would Breast Cancer Awareness Month be without pink? Crewmembers purchased hundreds of pink items to go with their uniforms, with funds benefitting cancer research. Pink ties, scarves and socks were proudly worn to raise awareness and remember fighters and survivors. In the air, passengers were able to buy special food and drink items with their purchases helping the fight against cancer.

Together, SkyWest people raised thousands of dollars for cancer research in October in a display of solidarity for each other and those we serve onboard each of our 2,000+ daily flights!

 

 

SkyWest at Girls in Aviation Day

Jeff Aders
Corporate Communications Coordinator

On Saturday, Sept. 23, SkyWest people celebrated Girls in Aviation Day at events held around the country. Girls in Aviation Day is held by Women in Aviation International (WAI) each September and looks to bring the passion, exploration, learning and excitement of aviation to girls aged 8-17.

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This year, SkyWest sponsored two WAI Girls in Aviation Day chapters: Purdue University and Stars of the North – Minnesota. It was a privilege to take part in the day’s activities and share our passion for aviation with future aviators!

At the Purdue Girls in Aviation Day event, SkyWest pilots flew an Embraer E175 to the university airport, giving the girls up-close experience with state-of-the-art jet aircraft. Our pilots met with the girls and talked about their flying experiences as they showed off the aircraft, providing hands-on learning with everything from the controls in the flight deck to the massive engine underneath each wing for the awestruck group of girls.

At the Girls in Aviation gathering in Minneapolis, Minnesota, the SkyWest team shared information about aviation STEM careers like airline pilots, mechanics and the variety of technical positions that keep an airline running!

“It was so inspiring to see so many girls with the drive and passion to be involved in the aviation industry at such a young age,” said SkyWest Recruitment Specialist Emma Morris. “Watching them talk about their dreams to become pilots, mechanics, dispatchers, programmers and more was really inspiring. Then being able to introduce them to our pilots and have them ask questions about the work here at SkyWest was even more of a treat.”

SkyWest is a proud equal opportunity employer and is home to more than 12,200 of the best professionals in the airline industry. Those who are ready to pursue their aviation career can apply online at www.skywest.com/careers.

 

 

SkyWest Teams Strong at ORD Plane Pull for Special Olympics

Caitlin Miller
People Programs Coordinator

As part of SkyWest’s Appreciation Week festivities, Chicago based crewmembers joined together to raise money for The Special Olympics in the ultimate tug of war – competing to pull a plane by a rope. ORD plane pull 2

Teams “SkyWest” and “SkyWest Strong” put their muscles to the test pulling an Airbus A300; no easy feat considering it weights nearly 180,000 pounds! Beyond raising funds for a great cause, a good time was had by all!

SkyWest believes in supporting the causes our people are passionate about through the Spirit of SkyWest: Our People in Action program, which is set up to allow SkyWest contributions for any SkyWest team member participating in an eligible charitable 501(c)(3) cause. It’s just one of the many ways SkyWest gives back to the communities we serve through our amazing people.

 

 

SkyWest Bands Together in Relief Efforts

Layne Watson
Corporate Communications Manager

In recent weeks, Mother Nature has made her presence known across the states, with Hurricane Harvey making landfall and devastating parts of Texas and Louisiana, then Hurricane Irma and Hurricane Maria following in Florida and Puero Rico respectively. In true SkyWest fashion, people stepped forward immediately asking how they could help their team members in need.

SkyWest HomeThankfully, all SkyWest people are safe. However, several have experienced tremendous property loss due to the historic flooding. SkyWest is offering a myriad of resources to support our people, from personal outreach from leaders to SOS: Crisis Fund resources for those in Harvey’s path. Additionally, SOS: Family Assistance is available to those on an approved personal leave of absence to take time to rebuild and recuperate from the flooding. Family Assistance allows SkyWest team members to donate their user and vacation hours to those on an approved leave.

SkyWest Crisis Fund Recipients Rebuilding

SkyWest Crisis Fund Recipients Rebuilding

Since the hurricane, SkyWest people have donated $15,000 to the SOS: Crisis Fund, with those funds going directly to SkyWest employees who’ve experienced loss from Harvey’s path. SkyWest has already granted more than $50,000 to our people and we continue to receive and fund applications as the harsh realities of the storm’s effects settle in.

In addition to directly helping our people, we’ve worked with the Red Cross and donated $10,000 to help provide aide and an American Red Cross Emergency Vehicle in flood areas. We continue to work with the Red Cross and other relief organizations to coordinate efforts on support and relief.

No matter the challenge, SkyWest people are a family and rise to support each other in times of need. And that is the Spirit of SkyWest.