Tag Archives: Giving Back

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 Team Welcomes Special Passengers

Layne Watson
Corporate Communications Manager

SkyWest’s team in Arcata, California (ACV) recently welcomed a very special group of passengers onboard. Twelve children with autism or down syndrome had the chance to experience the miracle of flight, even though they never actually left the ground!

SkyWest ACV Team

The eager passengers arrived at the airport, checked in at the counter with their bags, went through security and then boarded a 50-seat CRJ200. Once on the plane, the VIPs (Very Important Passengers) listened to the flight attendant’s announcements before receiving a snack and drink. A few even got to sit in the flight deck and make announcements! The group then deplaned and headed to baggage claim to pick up their checked luggage.

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“I’m not sure who had more fun: us or the kids!” said Angeline Vandenplas, SkyWest’s ACV general manager. “We all had such a great time.”

SkyWest ACV VIPs

The effort of the Arcata team, along with Captain Katie Overdick, First Officer Marko Miliceric and Flight Attendant Elle Eguchi who spent an extra two hours at the airport to participate, is a great example of SkyWest’s commitment to give back to the community. And for these passengers, it makes for a fun experience that they’ll remember for a lifetime.

SkyWest Flight Attendant Brings Help to Cambodian Orphans

Caitlin Miller
People Programs Coordinator

Having dealt with years of well-documented corruption and social unrest, Cambodia stands as one of the poorest countries in the world. Access to education, sanitation and nutrition is minimal in many locations, and non-existent for some. Many children begin working at a young age in horrendous conditions, exposing them to many risks, including disease, drug abuse and sexual violence.

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That’s where Mendy Field, a SkyWest flight attendant based in Palm Springs, California comes in. For the past seven years, Mendy has organized trips to Cambodia to help children in need. She first learned about the need while working alongside a Cambodian war refugee in Irvine, California for six years. There Mendy heard stories of the extreme poverty many are facing and knew she wanted to do something to help. After a trip to an orphanage in Mexico to deliver supplies, Mendy realized she could make the same deliveries to orphans in Cambodia.

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“It’s an adventure and a mission to help children learn and change that country,” said Mendy.

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Mendy made her first journey to Cambodia by herself and discovered an orphanage by asking locals at a hotel lobby about where she could find children she could help. Since then her efforts have continued to expand. Recently, she started her own non-profit organization called We See Light. Their mission is to help put an end to sex trafficking through education, building safe houses for children being rescued from brothels, and providing basic necessities like food, clothes and hygiene supplies.

“My goal is to build more safe houses for children who have been rescued from brothels,” said Mendy. “It’s not going to get better unless people go help them.”

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This summer, Mendy will be heading back to Cambodia to visit the orphanages and to deliver supplies that she has collected from other SkyWest employees. In fact, so much has been donated that several additional employees will likely join Mendy to help with the deliveries. Their efforts are a great example of what many SkyWest aviation professionals are doing around the world to help those in need.