Tag 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.

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 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.

SkyWest Partners with Habitat for Humanity to Celebrate 45 Years!

Hanna Hansen
Corporate Communications Coordinator

SkyWest Airlines celebrated 45 years of flight on June 19, 2017. To commemorate, SkyWest people traded their wings for shovels, hammers and work gloves to give back to the communities in which we live and work. Over the course of a few weeks, dozens of employees came together alongside Habitat for Humanity to donate their time and their muscle in the cities of Salt Lake, Denver and Chicago. Through these construction events, SkyWest people were able to map out foundations, prepare and clear lots, frame walls and complete a number of other tasks to set the framework (quite literally!) for each beneficiary’s success.

Stepping out of their traditional daily roles, participants demonstrated their goodness and willingness to give back, as well as the SkyWest commitment to teamwork and quality. As Dontay Riley of Chicago InFlight said, “The coolest part for me has been being able to…come together — not with the fixture of an airplane in front of us — and watch this organic teamwork happen.”

 

A Year of Giving

SkyWest will continue to celebrate 45 years of flying throughout the year with additional ways of giving back to the communities around us. Be sure to watch SkyBlog for more SkyWest happenings!

To learn more about Habitat for Humanity, visit Habitat.org

Pilot Becomes Life Changing Pen Pal

Thirteen-year-old Samuel and his mom have become frequent SkyWest passengers as they’ve traveled to receive treatment for Samuel’s medical complications. Last summer, while waiting to board a SkyWest aircraft, Samuel got the chance to speak to the pilot, Seattle ERJ Captain Jeff Ross. The brief interaction gave Samuel a new friend and a new outlook on life.

Samuel’s mother recently sent us a letter expressing her thanks and describing her son’s incredible experience:

This is something I’ve attempted to write many times, but I’ve never been able to find the words that accurately describe how incredible our experience has been or do this story justice…

Last summer, …[Sam] got the chance to speak to the pilot a bit… We were surprised to see the same man the next day for our return flight and happy to find out that he not only remembered Sam, but that he would once again be our captain.

The two took a photo together and Captain Ross gave Sam an email address, asking if he could forward the photo along.

Jeff

Before long, they were exchanging letters and postcards. Jeff sent an old receiver of his to Sam because they fly over us heading into and out of BOI and it would allow Sam to listen and learn. He’s also sent books Sam’s way, encouraged him to keep on reading and to work hard in school and reminded him of how strong and brave he is when Sam has had to face more scary or painful procedures.

Eight months later, Sam is happier than ever, no longer saying things like he wishes he’d never been born (something that had been becoming more frequently heard because he’d grown so very weary from being different and dealing with pain).

I just wanted to thank you for hiring people like Jeff who go above and beyond on a daily basis. We have thoroughly enjoyed almost all of our flights and its because of the people you choose to hire.

As of today, Sam and Captain Jeff are good friends who spend time planning the ultimate trip they could take together if money wasn’t an issue. So far, it includes flying upside down, jumping out of a plane, visiting Legoland and Disney World and spending lots of time in a flight simulator. Sam understands this trip isn’t possible, but just dreaming about it has put a smile on his face.

Captain Jeff has changed Sam’s life, filled it with joy and helped him to deal with the things that make him different while also embracing and celebrating them at the same time because its all part of what makes Sam an incredible person.

Thank you, Captain Ross, for your compassion, kindness and leadesrhip. His is one of many amazing examples of SkyWest people making a positive difference. Read more incredible stories like this.

Interested in joining the phenomenal SkyWest team? Learn more about positions at SkyWest Airlines at www.skywest.com/careers.

SkyWest Pilot Brings Easter Fun on Flight

Jacob Molnar
Corporate Communications Coordinator

Many children wake up Easter morning excited to hunt for eggs with their families, and SkyWest Captain Vincent Wood was not going to let the children aboard his flight from Chicago to Atlanta miss that opportunity this year.

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Social Media post from passenger praising Captain Wood.

Captain Wood purchased sealed plastic eggs containing sweet tarts and stickers inside and brought them onboard for kids who may have missed the morning’s festivities. Before departure, Captain Wood walked down the aisle with the green basket, letting each young passenger pick out their favorite egg (after asking permission from their parents). He also offered the treats to any adults who wanted them.

“I figured my kids were getting Easter eggs at home that morning, so the kiddos on the plane should be able to too,” said Captain Wood. “I can’t wait to do it again next year!”

The act of kindness brought joy to the passengers’ Easter morning.

One passenger, Nathan Wood, shared pictures and his thoughts on Facebook thanking the captain, “Wow! What an example of service over and above! … Happy Easter!!!! ”

Captain Wood is a great example of SkyWest’s unique culture where 12,000+ employees are continually going out of their way to provide excellent service. Learn more about SkyWest and opportunities to work with people like Captain Wood on skywest.com/careers.

Read more stories about SkyWest people making a difference.