Celebrating National Volunteer Week

WestJet
By WestJet | | 5 min read

April 24-30, 2022 is National Volunteer Week, and this year’s theme is Volunteering is Empathy in Action, which affirms the strong connection between volunteerism and empathy.

WestJet is built on a culture of giving back and for more than 26 years WestJetters have been encouraged to volunteer with the causes they are passionate about. This National Volunteer week, and every week, WestJet is celebrating the WestJetters who passionately give back to the communities where they live and work.

Through the WestJetters Caring for Our Community program, WestJetters who volunteer with eligible non-profit and charitable organizations have the opportunity to not only make meaningful time contributions, they also are able to receive the gift of flight to bolster the organizations fundraising efforts to support programs and services.

In celebration of National Volunteer Week, we asked WestJetters to provide some insight about why volunteering in their local community matters to them. 

Stacy, Coordinator, Time Management - Corporate

A WestJetter since 2004, Stacy has been using the WestJetters Caring for Our Community program for 11 years.

“I know that when I participate in the program that it is going to be a fun and easy campaign for raising funds. Through WestJet’s contribution of the gift of flight, I know the organizations I volunteer with will be successful with its fundraising goals.” 

What is your favourite volunteer memory?

One year we had the WestJet gift of flight for a raffle at a hockey tournament, and when we announced the winner, the individual who won the prize started crying because she had never been on a plane before.

 

What is your favourite volunteer memory?

One year we had the WestJet gift of flight for a raffle at a hockey tournament, and when we announced the winner, the individual who won the prize started crying because she had never been on a plane before.

Why is volunteering important to you?

I want to show my kids that even when you have nothing else to give, you can give time. My kids now help to volunteer, and they know how important it is to give back to the community.

What advice to you have for people who may want to get into volunteering?

Just do it! You will feel better as a person, and in turn, you make others around you feel better. I have never regretted volunteering my time.

Kerline, WestJet Vacations Service & Sales Agent

Kerline, WestJet Vacations Service & Sales Agent

A WestJetter since 2013, Kerline began using the WestJetters Caring for Our Community program six years ago.

“Participating in the program means a lot to not only myself but the organization, Canadian Friends of Hôpital Albert Schweitzer (CFHAS) I volunteer with. Using the WestJet gift of flight to fundraise each year contributes to the meaningful difference that can be made to save the lives of people needing healthcare from the hospital in Haiti. Getting involved with this organization was important to me, as I was born in Haiti and understand firsthand the great needs of my birth country.”

 

What is your favourite volunteer memory?

It was my first day helping CFHAS setting up the auction tables for the silent auction as part of the Haiti happening event. I was thrilled to see how much people care and were willing to help this great cause even though they are not from Haiti. I was overcome by emotions and joy when I saw the number of volunteers who showed up to help on that day and the quantity of items they donated for the silent auction. I had the opportunity to speak to several of the other volunteers who visited and volunteered at the hospital in Haiti. I was touched by their enthusiasm, motivation, and passion. That first experience was the basis of my decision to adopt CFHAS as the main organization that I have volunteered for.

Why does the WestJetters Caring for our Community program matter to you?

 As a WestJetter for several years, I have been able to witness WestJet’s involvement in the communities they serve. That has inspired me to volunteer and to be a WestJet ambassador within my own community. Volunteering makes me feel useful and brings joy to my soul while every day when I witness how much my small contribution can make a difference in others’ lives.

What advice do you have for people who may want to get into volunteering?

Volunteering does not have to be on a large scale. Any small thing goes a long way.

Rumnik, Zone Manager - Airports

A WestJetter since 2016, Rumnik has been an active volunteer in her local hockey community and has been using the WestJetters Caring for Our Community program for five years.

What is your favourite volunteer memory?

Being with the kids selling raffle tickets for the WestJet gift of flight. Seeing them involved and participating to raise funds for their team, allows them to take a sense of ownership over the overall goals, and they are proud of their hard work.

 

 

What has it meant to you to volunteer as a WestJetter?

It is a privilege to work with a company that supports Community Investment, and I get to see that firsthand through my volunteering. There is nothing better than giving back to your community. It is something that I have passed down to my children and I hope they will continue to do.

What advice do you have for people who may want to get into volunteering?

Do it! It is so rewarding. You meet the most amazing people and have the best experiences.

Jenna, Employee Support Advisor and Community Investment Committee Lead - Airports

Jenna, Employee Support Advisor and Community Investment Committee Lead - Airports

The Community Investment Committee at the Calgary Airport has been operational since 2015, where Airport agents from across the operation sit on the committee to actively plan, engage, promote, and inform WestJetters of volunteer opportunities in the Calgary area. 

 

What does it mean to participate in the WestJetters Caring for Our Community program?

To us, it means we get to make a positive impact in the communities we call home and strengthen our relationships outside of work.  Some of our favourite memories as a team are when we volunteered for the Women In Need Society, The Secret Service Gift Drop, Cerebral Palsy Kids and Families, the WestJet Cares for Kids holiday tradition with BGC Airdrie, and lastly with the Calgary Drop In Centre.

What impact has volunteering together impacted your team?

Volunteering has strengthened our team's bond at work, within the community as well as our friendships outside of the workplace. Volunteering aligns with our missions, visions, and values, which enhances our overall culture.

What advice do you have for teams or groups looking to get out and volunteer?

Find something you’re collectively passionate about and get out there. Once you get the momentum it’s hard to stop the feel-good feeling!

At WestJet, we continue to be thankful for all the WestJetters who selflessly give their time and hearts to make a difference. Throughout National Volunteer Week, and every week, salute our WestJetters and the community organizations who continuously make meaningful impacts in our communities and in the lives of others.