WestJet Cares for Kids celebrates 15 years

By WestJet | | 6 min read

This week, WestJet is celebrating the incredible 15-year milestone anniversary of the WestJet Cares for Kids program. To see the impact of this program, guests may not have to look further than their next flight, as they could be travelling with a young person enroute to an organ transplant, a family packing up their lives to move closer to life-saving care, a young person about to have their wish granted, future leaders who are learning valuable life skills or a missing child who is finally on their way back home. 

Since 2007, WestJet has donated over 100,000 flights to our charitable partners through our WestJet Cares for Kids program. We remain incredibly grateful to our longstanding partnerships with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Canada, BGC Canada, Hope Air, Make-A-Wish® Canada, Missing Children Society of Canada, Ronald McDonald House Charities Canada, and The David Foster Foundation. Since the program's inception, WestJet and WestJetters have helped to make a lasting positive impact on the health and wellbeing of thousands of young people, and through the gift of our resources, we are able to support our partners' essential programs and services, assist with fundraising efforts, and reduce the cost of travel. We remain incredibly grateful to our partners for the critical work they do each and every day for Canadians.

“WestJet has always strived to be more than just an airline. Through the WestJet Cares for Kids program, we found a way to use our unique identity to make investments and support the communities we serve in a meaningful way,” said Angela Avery, WestJet Group Executive Vice-President and Chief People, Corporate & Sustainability Officer. “I am proud to be celebrating 15 years of this program alongside the passionate WestJetters who consistently demonstrate an unwavering dedication to our charitable partners within WestJet’s vast community.”

We recently put together a short video to help tell the story, and to thank our guests for joining us on this journey: 

Following a successful 15 years, WestJet Cares for Kids has countless stories to share; here are just a few:

WestJet Connections: Share happiness

From the moment when flights are booked, to check-in at the airport, and the in-flight experience, WestJetters consistently go above and beyond to create a remarkable experience for each wish child and their family. It is these meaningful interactions with the brave Make-A-Wish® families that inspire WestJetters to go the extra mile. These connections have also inspired numerous WestJetters to personally become involved with Make-A-Wish. Across our network, teams of WestJetters volunteer at local Make-A-Wish events, many support fundraising initiatives, and others give their time as volunteer wish granters. 

In honour of International Day of Happiness, in March of 2019, WestJet, and Make-A-Wish® Canada and a very special group of Make-A-Wish® alumni came together to surprise WestJetter and volunteer wish granter, Karl, to say thanks for the happiness he’s brought to Make-A-Wish recipients.  

Coach Dad: Father’s Day Surprise | WestJet & Ronald McDonald House Charities Canada

Inspired by Troy and his son Darian’s story, WestJet and RMHC teamed up to give Coach Dad Troy from Clarenville, Newfoundland an early Father’s Day surprise – actually a couple of surprises. The result was an incredible afternoon of a father reunited with his daughter and his beloved hockey team for an unforgettable reunion: Coach Dad: Father’s Day Surprise | WestJet & Ronald McDonald House Charities Canada

WestJet Connections: Share kindness

Since 2012, WestJetters have created special holiday experiences for the youth at Clubs across Canada in partnership with BGC Canada (BGCC). In Winnipeg, the team of WestJetter volunteers who organize the annual holiday event there have become like family to the Gilbert Park Club and its members.

To celebrate their kindness, watch how together with some very special BGC Club families, we surprised the Winnipeg WestJetter volunteers to thank them for bringing kindness into the lives of so many.

WestJet Thanks: Giving hope

In 2018, we teamed up Hope Air to help one of their patients, 23-year-old Leora, say thank you to those who supported her throughout her health journey in a way like only she could. 

Diagnosed with two types of bone cancer at age 14, Leora has been cancer-free for eight years. The treatment that helped cure her cancer caused Leora serious and life-long complications that’s required more than 50 trips from her home in Prince George, BC to Vancouver for specialized medical care. Without free flights provided through Hope Air, Leora says she simply would not have been able to access the medical care she needs. Leora also says that she would not be where she is today, as a thriving, vibrant young student, without the love and support of family, friends and the Prince George community. That’s why we helped her bring some of them together for a special day filled with fun, surprises and a celebration of thanks, WestJet Thanks: Giving hope . 


To learn more about the program and our incredible partners visit WestJet Cares for Kids.