Employees Foster Community Involvement and Giving
Each day, City of Phoenix Aviation employees work hard to keep Airport operations running smoothly and strive to provide customer service that makes Sky Harbor America’s Friendliest Airport®. But did you know that outside of work, Aviation employees are busy spending their time volunteering to assist community members? These employees find a variety of ways to help from volunteering as a mentor to providing donations to organizations that are close to their hearts.
Kate O’Malley of Administration at PHX Sky Harbor, among several other Aviation employees, volunteers her time as a mentor for the Phoenix Youth at Risk organization. This organization gives kids, who live between various shelters, temporary housing and on the street, someone to mentor them that will be a positive role-model in their lives. Mentors typically spend an hour or two a week talking with the child, going to the library, or participating in various activities.
“I am a mentor to an eight-year old who currently lives in a homeless shelter,” O’Malley said. “She has seen more bad in the world than I can even imagine. While I cannot change what she has been through, I can help provide her with the tools to step out of poverty. I joined the program to try and help someone else, but I feel it is me who has gained the most from having her in my life.”
Other employees make donations through the Community Service Fund Drive (CSFD) program. In fact, last year, Aviation employees contributed over $75,000 toward the city of Phoenix’s $1.6 million goal. Money is raised through employee donations such as through pledges and special events, including cookouts, bake sales and the annual Jet Pull in which employees form teams and see who can pull a US Airways plane the quickest. Yes, teams of 20 actually pull an airplane! Funds raised go directly to non-profit organizations in Maricopa County through the Valley of the Sun United Way.
Nancy Martinez of Operations shows her support to charities that help battered women get out of bad situations and start over.
“My husband and I stopped for gas when a woman approached us,” Martinez said. “She was with her five small children in a car packed with all their belongings. She explained that she was leaving her husband because of abuse. She was going to stay in a shelter for battered women in another state, but didn’t have enough money for gas. I will never forget the scared look on the woman’s face as she tried to keep her children safe.”
Aviation employees truly go above and beyond in their efforts to serve the community. Stay tuned for more stories about other outstanding employees.
Above and to the right Kate O'Malley participates in an activity with Phoenix Youth at Risk participant Kierra.