Celebrating the power of WestJetters who volunteer

WestJet
By WestJet | | 5 min read

It’s National Volunteer Week, and this year’s theme is: The Value of One, The Power of Many, which reflects on the awe-inspiring acts of kindness by millions of individuals across Canada and the magic that happens when we work together towards a common purpose.

As we celebrate our 25th anniversary this year, we also celebrate our passionate WestJetters who give back to the communities where they live and work. Through the WestJetters Caring for Our Community program when WestJetters volunteer with organizations they care about, the eligible non-profits and charities not only benefit from the contributions made by the volunteers, they also have the opportunity to receive the gift of flight to support their fundraising efforts. 

Infographic on community investment statistics

WestJetters who are active volunteers in their communities were asked to provide insight about why they volunteer and why the WestJetters Caring for Our Community program is important to them.

Kristen, Station Manager, Victoria Airport 

A WestJetter since 2014, Kristen says using the program, “Is a great way to get to know the WestJetters that I worked with and I quickly learned how much WestJet’s support is appreciated by, and can make a difference in, our communities. It makes me very proud to work for WestJet.”

One of Kristen’s favourite volunteer memories is participating in fundraising efforts for CIBC Run for the Cure in Sudbury and she says that as a WestJetter the impact of getting involved and volunteering has had a ripple effect. “The time and effort put into planning and executing the event really demonstrated the level of care that is present in our colleagues and that our company empowers us to show. Our people have such big, kind, generous hearts.”

Kristen added that, “It's easy to fall into the trap of living in our own heads and behaving in ways that come from our own experience and perspective, whereas stepping out into our communities and hearing stories from those who have overcome traumas and hardships and still choose to do what they can to help others, it’s very sobering.” 

WestJetter Volunteer Kristen Kristen at CIBC Run for the Cure

When asked what advice she had for people who may want to get out and volunteer she said, “Just do it, google organizations in your community that advocate for something close to your heart, find events that are taking place nearby on your days off, perusing the booths and chatting with participants. You never know who you might meet or what might strike a chord within you. Giving looks good on everybody.” 

Clifford, Manager, Materials – East, Toronto Hangar

A WestJetter since 2004, Clifford started volunteering with his son’s minor hockey team and it was through this program where he began to understand how rewarding volunteering could be. Over the years, Clifford has been able to combine his love of hockey and volunteering through opportunities with three hockey organizations. His favorite volunteering memories he said include, “Unique moments in a season where I am able to help a child grow confidence in their skills at a challenging moment and seeing the joy on a child’s face when they realize that they can achieve a skill or develop a love for the game is second to none.”

When asked what advice he has for people who were thinking they might want to start volunteering, “Just get out there and do it,” he said. Clifford added that the people he has been able to help and meet through volunteering has been the biggest reward and that he and his family have made lifelong friends.

“I feel very fortunate to be working at WestJet and proud to be able to say I work for a company that contributes positively to my community and so many communities across Canada.” 

WestJetter playing hockey with children Clifford volunteers with his son’s minor hockey team

Kara, Priority Service Agent, Vancouver Airport

A WestJetter since 2010, in Vancouver, Kara sits on the local community investment committee.

“Giving back to our local community is really important to me as there are so many organizations that rely on support and donations to be able to operate, and the ability to provide the gift of flight for fundraising purposes is such an important donation for many of our local charities.” Kara added that, “Being able to see how much it really helps them makes me feel proud to be a WestJetter.”

Kara has volunteered with many organizations and while they are all very important, a couple that are special to her are the CH.I.L.D. Foundation and the Ronald McDonald House BC & Yukon. When asked about her favourite volunteer memories, Kara said it is any of the meals she has made for Ronald McDonald house guests. “I love being able to sit down with the families at the Ronald McDonald House and listen to their stories, the kids are so wonderful."

Kara added that, “Being able to represent WestJet when I volunteer or attend events has made a big impact on me and showing my peers at work how special it is to help others means a lot. It's great to be able to work for a company that cares for its community.“

For those looking for advice on how to get involved and volunteer, Kara’s advice: “A lot of people don't know where to start,” she said. “Think of something you are passionate about and reach out to a local organization, don't be shy.”

WestJetter volunteering with CIBC Run for the Cure Kara sits on WestJet's local community investment committee in Vancouver

Roti, Sr. Manager, Product, Calgary Head Office

Roti has been at WestJet since 2019, and 2020 was his first year using the WestJetters Caring for Our Community program. He believes that volunteering at his child’s school and participating in the program has given him new insights into how the pandemic is impacting learning and appreciation for how hard everyone is working to support children and keep them safe (drivers, administration, teachers, and staff).

"By participating in the program, it has brought excitement to the school that WestJet can provide the gift of flight, which will fund much-needed resources for the school," he added.

Roti’s favourite volunteer memories from the past year are the numerous online meetings with parents to prepare for school reopening. “I am appreciative of WestJet’s generosity during a difficult time,” he said.

Roti is also grateful for the exposure to new perspectives from other parents, new connections (including fellow WestJetters) and a deeper appreciation for workers in the school system keeping children safe and engaged.

For anyone who is looking to start volunteering Roti’s advice:

“Be prepared for hard work and be open to new ideas, a candle loses nothing by lighting another candle.” 

WestJetter Roti Roti volunteers at his child’s school

At WestJet, we are grateful for all the WestJetters across our network who selflessly give their time to make our world and communities a better place. This National Volunteer Week, and every week, we salute and thank you for inspiring us all to get involved, make a difference, and give back to our communities.